Disability Compensation for Veterans of the Persian Gulf War

Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom

Veterans of the Persian Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible to receive service-connected compensation for mental and physical disabilities that were incurred during or aggravated by their service in the armed forces. Congress has enacted more generous rules that apply only to veterans who served in Southwest Asia. These expanded rules apply to veterans who served during the first Gulf War during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Many Persian Gulf War veterans suffer from multisymptom disabilities that are poorly understood by their doctors, and may be labeled as, “undiagnosed”, “chronic fatigue syndrome”, or “chronic multisymptom” illness. Our veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theatre may have been exposed to biological or environmental hazards or to preventative medicine or vaccines. The effects of this type of exposure are not well known and are the subject of ongoing scientific research. Congress now allows those veterans who manifest a “qualifying chronic disability” to obtain service connection even if their disability cannot be service connected under the regular rules.

To be entitled to this presumptive service connection under these expanded Congressional rules, the veteran must satisfy three requirements:

  1. the veteran must qualify as a Persian Gulf War veteran;
  2. the veteran must suffer from “a qualifying chronic disability” and
  3. the particular qualifying chronic disability must have become manifest during active military service in eh Southwest Asia theater of operations or to a degree of 10 percent at any time since the veteran’s return from active duty in Southwest Asia.

Once the veteran satisfies these three requirements, the veteran is legally entitled to the presumption that his disability is service connected. This means that the veteran does not need to provide evidence specifically linking his current condition to events in the service.

If you believe that you may have a claim, or previously filed a claim and were denied, the Law Office of Sonya L. Pence stands ready and prepared to assist you and your family to receive the disability benefits you rightly deserve.