More than 650,000 Servicemembers served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991. For VA benefits eligibility purposes, the Gulf War period is still in effect, meaning that anyone who served on active duty from August 2, 1990 to present is considered a Gulf War Veteran. For example, the Veterans Pension benefit requires service during a wartime period, so any Veteran with active military service since August 2, 1990 meets the wartime service requirement.
Gulf War Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial. See our Veterans page for an overview of the benefits available to all Veterans.
Certain illnesses and diseases are "presumed" by VA to be related to your military service in designated areas of Southwest Asia and may entitle you to VA disability compensation benefits. For Gulf War Veterans, these presumptive diseases include:
Learn more about qualifying for disability compensation for these presumptive diseases on the Gulf War Presumptive Disability page.
Gulf War Veterans may still seek to establish service connection individually for other, "non-presumptive" diseases and illnesses related to service in the Gulf War. Learn more about qualifying for disability compensation for non-presumptive conditions on the Compensation web site.
The specific VA benefit or program web page will provide tailored information about how to apply for a particular benefit or program. Generally, Servicemembers, Veterans, and families can apply for VA benefits using one of the methods below.