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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 related to service in this region. 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 listed below, and you must have one of the diagnoses listed below.

All of these must be true of your chronic illness or other condition. It:

  • Started while you were on active duty or before December 31, 2021, and
  • Caused you to be ill for at least 6 months, and
  • Qualified you for a disability rating of 10% or more, and
  • Was caused only by your service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations

And you must also have a diagnosis of one or more of these conditions:

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

You can also get benefits for a presumed disability if both of the below descriptions are true for you.

Both of these must be true:

  • You have a presumed disability that appeared within 1 year of your date of separation, and
  • This presumed disability qualifies you for a disability rating of 10% or more

We consider these illnesses to be presumed disabilities:

  • Burcellosis
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
  • Nontyphoid salmonella
  • Shigella
  • West Nile virus

Learn more about disabilities that appear within one year after discharge
Learn more about presumed disabilities

Who’s covered?


What kind of disability benefits can I get?

  • Health care
  • Compensation (payments)

How do I get these benefits?

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

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

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