Monday, July 27, 2015

Disability Benefits Available for Gulf War Vets

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After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, combat veterans reported a range of medically unexplained symptoms, including headaches, chronic fatigue, loss of muscle control, dizziness, muscle and joint pains, skin problems, and memory problems, among many others. Collectively, these symptoms were found to be connected to Persian Gulf War syndrome, an illness many combat veterans had reportedly acquired from their service in the Gulf War.

Possible Causes of the Gulf War Syndrome

So far, studies have mostly been inconclusive on what exactly is causing illnesses among Gulf War combat veterans. Some studies have found a possible link between the condition and the veterans’ possible exposure to nerve gas medication and insect repellents; while other studies indicate a correlation between the condition and the administration of anthrax vaccine. A federally mandated research in the U.S., however, shows that many of the cases may be related to the vets’ exposure to toxic chemicals while serving in the war.

Eligibility for VA and Social Security Disability Benefits

Gulf War veterans who have acquired symptoms related to Gulf War syndrome may be eligible for veterans disability compensation and Social Security disability benefits. Veterans who have worked at least half the time since they were 21 are also eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, while those who haven’t worked for a long time due to disability are eligible for Supplemental Security Income. Being awarded VA disability benefits, however, does not guarantee automatic approval for SSDI or SSI.

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