What is Gulf War Syndrome?

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What is Gulf War Syndrome?

Many veterans who served in operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War developed debilitating chronic illnesses. These illnesses, without any other clear causes, have been recognized as Gulf War Syndrome. They continue to impact thousands of veterans in the United States. Since symptoms can vary drastically among veterans affected, the VA refers to the illnesses not as a single syndrome but as a cluster of chronic multi-symptom illnesses. 

If you are a veteran who served in the 1991 Gulf War and continue to have chronic health problems following your service, it may be possible for you to obtain VA benefits with the help of an attorney. You can learn more about the illnesses that fall under this category and whether you may qualify for compensation by talking to our lawyers. 

Symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome

Gulf War Syndrome is a collective term referring to illnesses experienced by veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War. These illnesses can cause debilitating symptoms and lead to a reduced quality of life for those affected. While initial investigations did not find a clear cause of the illnesses, current studies have shown that exposure to pesticides, pyridostigmine bromide pills and other toxic chemicals likely played a role. An estimated 200,000 veterans who were deployed developed the following symptoms: 

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Rashes
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic headaches
  • Dysthymia
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Respiratory problems

Over 30 years later, veterans with Gulf War Syndrome continue to report higher than average occurrences of chronic health problems, including chronic pain, memory problems, severe fatigue and gastrointestinal complications. Multiple studies have connected groups of illnesses in operation Desert Storm veterans and exposure to certain chemical and microbiological exposures during military service. Evidence also suggests that the affected veterans experience age-related disabilities at an early onset. Other factors, such as extended exposure to pesticides and developing a traumatic brain injury during service, significantly increased the chances of having Gulf War Syndrome. 

Am I Eligible for Disability Benefits?

Gulf War Syndrome can produce disabling symptoms that compromise your quality of life. To qualify for disability benefits, veterans must prove that they served in the Gulf War. They may qualify regardless of whether they served in the air or on the ground. 

Veterans must also show that they have experienced chronic symptoms, which are those that have lasted for longer than six months. Your symptoms must not be connected to another diagnosed medical condition. Veterans with a pre-existing diagnosis may need to gather additional evidence to demonstrate that their disability is service-connected. 

Contact a Chicago VA Attorney

If you are suffering from the symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome and wonder if you qualify for compensation, a Chicago VA attorney is your greatest resource. The Comerford Law Office represents veterans filing for disability benefits and can help you better understand how the VA grants benefits to those with Gulf War illnesses and other service-connected disabilities. The process can be difficult, but our attorneys are prepared to do what it takes to uphold your best interests. Call today to explore your options. 

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