VA Statute Authorizes Compensation For Undiagnosed Illnesses
Many Gulf War veterans encountered problems when trying to prove that their difficult-to-diagnose or undiagnosed illnesses were connected to military service. This affected these veterans’ access to disability compensation.
In response, VA asked Congress for the authority to provide compensation benefits Gulf War veterans who are chronically disabled by undiagnosed illnesses. The 1994 statute authorizes VA to pay compensation for disabilities that cannot be diagnosed as a specific disease or injury, or for certain illnesses with unknown cause, including chronic fatigue, persistent rashes, hair loss, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, neurological symptoms, neuropsychological symptoms such as memory loss, respiratory system symptoms, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms, abnormal weight loss, and menstrual disorders.
More than 3,400 Gulf War veterans have received service-connection for their undiagnosed or difficult-to-diagnose illnesses under this authority. Veteran from current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are also eligible for this special benefit. Vietnam veteran will soon have the same benefit.