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Gulf War Illness

If you served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or in Afghanistan, you may suffer from certain illnesses, disorders, and conditions that have been linked to your service.

Are you eligible for compensation?

Yes, if:

  • You served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War period, or in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001.
  • Your diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic conditions appeared during a qualifying period of active service or appeared prior to December 31, 2016, with a disability rating of 10% or more.
  • There exists no other cause for your disability or illness than service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or Afghanistan, and
  • Those who served in Afghanistan have a qualifying infectious disease (brucellosis, campylobacter jejuni, coxiella burnetii (Q fever), malaria, mycobacterium tuberculosis, nontyphoid salmonella, shigella, visceral leishmaniasis, or West Nile virus) that began either during a qualifying period of service or within one year from the date of separation from a qualifying period of service (except malaria, which may manifest more than one year after qualifying service if standard or accepted medical principles indicate that the incubation period commenced during a qualifying period of service, and visceral leishmaniasis or tuberculosis, which may manifest more than one year after service).
  • Your disability existed for six months or more, and
  • You were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

Who is covered


Available benefits

  • Compensation
  • Health care

How it works

The conditions that fall under the umbrella of Gulf War Illness are varied and extensive. They include fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and undiagnosed illnesses such as headaches, joint pain, sleep disorders, and cardiovascular disease.


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Please note: Content on this Web page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or to be a comprehensive statement or analysis of applicable statutes, regulations, and case law governing this topic. Rather, it’s a plain-language summary. If you are seeking claims assistance, your local VA regional office, a VA-recognized Veterans Service Organization, or a VA-accredited attorney or agent can help. Search Accredited Attorneys, Claims Agents, or Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) Representatives.