In a recent press release, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it would be extending the presumptive period for veterans of the Persian Gulf War until December 31, 2026. This extension gives these veterans more time to apply for disability benefits if they are suffering from unspecified medical issues with no definitive diagnosis. It also means they may be able to recover benefits they might previously have been owed due to not having been properly diagnosed with a medical condition.
What is the Presumptive Period for Persian Gulf War Veterans?
The presumptive period is a length of time in which veterans of the Persian Gulf War, which occurred in 1991, can apply for veterans’ disability benefits with the assumption that their medical conditions are related to their military service. This means they do not need to prove their medical issues are service-related, allowing them to skip much of the process most people must go through to obtain disability benefits from the VA. This, in turn, makes it easier and quicker for them to obtain benefits for their medical conditions.
Why is There a Presumptive Period for Persian Gulf War Veterans?
The presumptive period for Gulf War veterans was put into place to deal with a systemic problem confronting veterans of that war, known as Gulf War Syndrome. This “syndrome” constitutes a number of medical conditions that veterans of the war suffer that have no other identifiable cause. Common symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome include: fatigue, insomnia, muscle pain, rashes, diarrhea, and cognitive problems.
Why is the Presumptive Period So Important?
Before the presumptive period was put into place, these veterans had an exceptionally hard time obtaining disability benefits, despite suffering from potentially debilitating medical issues. This is because their symptoms did not match any known medical conditions, making it difficult to prove they had a disability that met the standards set by the VA. With the presumptive period, though, those who suffer from Gulf War Syndrome can skip this arduous process, easing the way to getting benefits.
What Should You Do If You Have Gulf War Syndrome?
If you are a veteran who served in the Persian Gulf War and you are suffering from an unspecified medical condition that has made it difficult for you to obtain disability benefits, now is a good time to try applying again. Taking advantage of this presumptive period can help you get the benefits you are legally entitled to. However, to give yourself the best chance possible at getting through the application process, you should speak to a lawyer with knowledge of disability law who can help you with your case.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.