Good Advice for Gulf War Veteran
0 percent to 100 percent.
Here is my proposed RS (VA-ratings Staff) VBA checklist for GWI:
1.Was the veteran present in the theater of operations during the time frame established for the Persian Gulf War? Yes or No.
2.Does the veteran have an undiagnosed illness or one that is a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness defined by a cluster of signs and symptoms or any diagnosed illness as outlined in VA regulations to a degree that warrants a presumption of service connection?
Yes or No.
3.If the RS marks Yes to both of these questions, then the veteran's disability is to be considered service-connected (SC) under Section 1117 - Undiagnosed Illnesses due to service in Southwest Asia. All that remains is a determination as to the percentage of disability.
The last part of my complaint about getting (gulf war veteran) GWV's their service-connected disability claims is the VA's outdated computer check-in system. A GWV may have four to six problems but is able to have only one listed for his or her check-in. When the RS looks over the veteran's file he/she does not see all of the problems that the veteran has because the VA's computer system cannot handle it. This will affect the claim in terms of the percentage of disability awarded.
The veteran must ensure that the examining physician (C&P) at the VA adds all complaints to the comment area. If the physician refuses to do so, the veteran should go to the VA's ER for the other problems. Also, have someone keep track of when you are ill and how bad it gets.
For some of us, mostly men, admitting we are sick can be problematic. The common thing for us veterans is to "tough it out" and downplay how bad it really is. Veterans need to tell their doctor the truth about how bad it hurts and how they have a hard time working. Be truthful at all times.
The last thing I would like to talk about is Veterans Service Officers (VSO's). There are some good ones and some bad ones. A veteran should not pay too much attention to who the VSO works for (DAV, American Legion, VFW, etc.) because it does not matter. The important thing is how well the individual VSO is versed in the laws concerning PGW veterans.
Veterans need to talk to the other veterans in their area. Having a good VSO involved with the claim will make a lot of difference in the outcome.
Finally if the veteran has a scar, and the VSO wants to file it under section 1117, the veteran should get a new VSO. Scars should never be filed as an undiagnosed illness. There is a nexus for the scar to your service. When your VSO files it as an undiagnosed illness he is causing a delay in getting the veteran's claim approved.