Demystifying Gulf War Illness Claims (VSO)

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Presenters: Rick Spataro & Alexis Ivory

Length: 90 minutes

Recorded: August 2019


Webinar Description:

If you are confused about Gulf War Illness claims, you are not alone. For almost 25 years, the VA has had special rules in place to make it easier for veterans to obtain compensation for qualifying chronic disabilities caused by service in the Persian Gulf theater of operations. These rules have been updated several times since they were enacted. They have also been the subject of a number of important precedential court decisions. However, these rules are still often misunderstood by veterans advocates and misapplied or ignored by VA adjudicators. After you take this webinar, you will have a clearer understanding of Gulf War Illness rules. You will also be better able to identify when a veteran should file a Gulf War Illness claim and be better equipped to help a veteran win such a claim.

The special rules that apply to claims for service connection of qualifying chronic disabilities based on service in the Persian Gulf theater of operations impact millions of veterans. They apply not only to veterans of the first Persian Gulf War, but to all veterans who have served in that area of the world since August 1990, including post-9/11 veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Some of the rules also apply to veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom. Thus, it is extremely important for veterans advocates to understand these rules.

In this webinar, we will first explain the special rules for Gulf War Illness claims. Then we will explore the case of a real veteran who claimed VA disability compensation for Gulf War Illness. We will review relevant claims file documents and use our interactive question and answer polling feature to reinforce the information presented in the webinar.

The purpose of this recorded webinar is for you to understand:
• Which veterans are covered under the special Gulf War Illness rules
• What chronic disabilities qualify for presumptive service connection, including undiagnosed illnesses and medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses (MUCMIs), such as
fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
• How to determine if a disease not specifically listed as a MUCMI in VA regulations should be considered a MUCMI, and how to support a claim for service connection for such a disease
• How to support a claim for service connection for an undiagnosed illness
• How the VA assigns disability ratings for undiagnosed illnesses
• The holdings of key court decisions interpreting laws and regulations associated with Gulf War Illness claims
• Common errors the VA makes when adjudicating Gulf War Illness claims
• Advocacy strategies related to Gulf War Illness claims
• And more!