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Gulf War Illnesses linked to Southwest Asia service

If you served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, you may suffer from illnesses or other conditions that we assume are related to service in this region. We call these presumptive diseases. Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits.

Learn about service in Afghanistan and Gulf War Illness

Am I eligible for disability benefits from VA?

You may be eligible for disability benefits if you served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations during the Gulf War period and you didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.

Your illness or condition must also meet the requirements of the time periods listed below. Read the eligibility requirements related to time of diagnosis.

Eligibility requirements related to time of diagnosis

If your illness or condition was diagnosed while you were on active duty or before December 31, 2021

You can get benefits for your illness or condition if both of these descriptions are true for you and you have one of these presumptive diseases.

Both of these must be true. Your illness or condition:

  • Caused you to be ill for at least 6 months, and
  • Resulted in a disability rating of 10% or more

And you have one of these presumptive diseases:

  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Other undiagnosed illnesses, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, and headaches

If your illness or condition was diagnosed within one year of your date of separation

You can get disability benefits for your illness or condition if you have a disability rating of 10% or more and you have one of these presumptive diseases:

  • Brucellosis 
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
  • Nontyphoid salmonella
  • Shigella
  • West Nile virus
  • Malaria (or sooner in some cases)

If your illness or condition was diagnosed at any time after your date of separation

You can get disability benefits for your illness or condition if you have a disability rating of 10% or more and you have one of these presumptive diseases:

  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Visceral leishmaniasis

What kind of disability benefits can I get?

  • Health care
  • Compensation (payments)

How do I get these benefits?

You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation.
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation

Learn more about service in Southwest Asia

    What if I need help filing my claim?

    You can get help from a trained professional trusted to help with VA-related claims.
    Get help filing your claim

    What’s included in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations?

    • Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia
    • The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
    • Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)
    • Oman
    • The Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman
    • The waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea
    • The airspace above these locations