Four soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division walk around their camp wearing rain suits, gloves and M-17A1 protective masks as they try to acclimate their bodies to the heat of the Saudi summer during Operation Desert Shield. DoD photo

Disability compensation made easier

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced March 18 that VA is taking steps to make it easier for veterans to obtain disability compensation for certain diseases associated with service in the Persian Gulf War or Afghanistan. This will be the beginning of historic change for how VA considers Gulf War veterans' illnesses.

Following recommendations made by VA's Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Task Force, VA is publishing a proposed regulation in the Federal Register that will establish new presumptions of service connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War, or in Afghanistan on or after Sept. 19, 2001.

The proposed rule includes information about the long-term health effects potentially associated with the nine diseases: Brucellosis, Campylobacter jejuni, Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), malaria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nontyphoid Salmonella, Shigella, Visceral leishmaniasis and West Nile virus.

For non-presumptive conditions, a veteran is required to provide medical evidence that can be used to establish an actual connection between military service in Southwest Asia or in Afghanistan, and a specific disease. With the proposed rule, a veteran will only have to show service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan, and a current diagnosis of one of the nine diseases. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted over the next 60 days. A final regulation will be published after consideration of all comments received.

The decision was made after reviewing the 2006 report of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) titled, "Gulf War and Health Volume 5: Infectious Diseases." The 2006 report differed from the four prior reports by looking at the long-term health effects of certain diseases determined to be pertinent to Gulf War veterans.

The 1998 Persian Gulf War Veterans Act requires the VA secretary to review NAS reports that study scientific information and possible associations between illnesses and exposure to toxic agents by veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War.

Because the Persian Gulf War has not officially been declared ended, veterans serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible for VA's new presumptions. Shinseki decided to include Afghanistan veterans in these presumptions because NAS found that the nine diseases are prevalent in that country.

For more information about health problems associated with military service during operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and related VA programs go to or go to for information about disability compensation.




  1. Well, very good post with informative information. I really appreciate the fact that you approach these topics from a stand point of knowledge and information. This is the first time, I visited at your site and became your fan. You are bookmarked. Please keep on posting
  2. I know the legion team has made a way to accommodate all casualties and give their necessary needs. Continue serving in your country and someday you can get your reward from heaven.
  3. Because the Persian Gulf War has not officially been declared ended, NAS found that the nine diseases are prevalent in that country. Many veterans serving in Operation.Shinseki decided to include Afghanistan veterans in these program. Just continue what you have started!
  4. Every soldier that fights, the content of their mind is to win the fight, dead or alive they return to their hometown.
  5. I believe that all American soldiers will won their fight against the enemy. I salute all you guys, I'll pray for your safety.
  6. Veterans desever all the financial aid they can get, simply because the exposed their lives for our shinny and happy country. If you dont know the future you deserve to know the truth.
  7. Veterans deserves to have health insurances which should be claimed easily since they have dedicated their lives for our country's sake.
  8. they have risk their lives for our country and it's about time our veterans and active soldiers get the necessary disability compensation!@
  9. Indeed we should do more. These people are devoting their time and lives for the rest of us that can't fight because we have kids or family that needs us. Or we're simply to frightened to go out there.
  10. Wo ...Nice Blog, Nice tips, Great article!, I have recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.
  11. I agree 100% that it is only right and just that it should be not only easy but also quick for veterans to obtain their rightful compensation, due to them. The courage and bravery of these men is unsurpassed. No stone must be left unturned in our support for them.
  12. I believe that Congress should be made to return all the funds that they have taken from Soc. Sec. That was money that was paid in by hard working folks for their future and Congress had no right to take funds for their projects.
  13. I will be ten per cent forever with no upgrade. Life member of DAV and member American legion still dose not help. No housing help either. I was even told in Stockton California not to mention that I retired from the military and Civil service with Social security which comes to 19000 a year and no hope for any job or educational training. Nothing like being in the middle.
  14. If possible can you assist me in the following? A couple of years ago, I submitted a PTSD claim and all evidence that was required. My claim was denied because the VA stated that was not having any nightmares. The fact of the matter is that they made a mistake and, as I stated, all evidence was in the paper work that I submitted and resubmitted. A couple of months ago, perhaps six months ago, I appealed their decision and have not heard any word from the VA in regards to my appeal. Can you please assist me in this matter? Currently, I am afraid to visit the VA because I do not trust them. They claim to help the military personnel, however; it only seems as a bunch a bureaucratic lies. I became a member of the American Legion a few weeks ago, in hopes that you can assist me. jpolivan
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