Gulf War Presumptive Disease Update 04

Posted: October 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
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or Gulf War veterans with certain ailments like: Chronic fatigue syndrome; Fibromyalgia; Functional gastrointestinal disorders; and other undiagnosed illnesses the current deadline for when the condition must have "appeared" is on or before Dec. 31, 2011. If you have any conditions that are "undiagnosed" and you did a tour in the Middle East, this could apply to you. A law was written some time ago that provided extra protection for veterans from the Persian Gulf War. The basic purpose of the law was to ensure that veterans were able to apply for health care and other benefits for the decades following their time in combat. Sometimes health conditions are caused by circumstances while in a war zone, but do not manifest until many years later. This law was to ensure that if this was the case, these veterans were still able to receive benefits and compensation. This law expired on September 30, 2011.
The VA apparently received a lot of concern from Gulf War veterans. Like all laws, there is a bit of ambiguity in the wording of the expiration date. What this date does mean is that some protections that were offered to Gulf War veterans may no longer be in effect. Also, prior to September 30, 2011, if any scientific report was published that had studied specific effects of service in the Southwest Asian theater, the VA was required to assess and respond to the report. There is no longer a requirement to publish a response. What this date does not mean is a benefits termination. No Gulf War veteran who is currently receiving benefits will have those benefits terminated. (Sometimes veterans are determined to be in recovery, or have recovered to a great enough degree that the VA warrants a reduction in benefits. This is not the same thing, and can still happen.) Additionally, Gulf War veterans are still able to apply for benefits when service related conditions are discovered. What all this really means for the average Gulf War veteran is that he/she will continue to receive their benefits, and veterans will continue to be able to apply.
There is one important date that Gulf War veterans do need to know about. Initially, the VA determined that if a condition that was shown to be connected to Gulf War service (aka, presumed exposure) did not manifest by December 31, 2011, then it was more likely that the condition was due to other circumstances. The VA is currently addressing this date, and has drafted a new version of this rule, to state an expiration date for presumed exposure of 2018. What does this date mean for Gulf War veterans? If you, or another veteran who fought in the Gulf War, has begun to develop any health conditions related to your time in service, you may eventually run out of time to submit your claim as a presumed exposure health problem. When the rule becomes finalized, you will have a few more years to submit a claim, but sooner is definitely better. [Source: VA Benefit Blog http://www.VABenefitBlog.Com
article 14 Sep 2011 ++]

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