[HEALTH.MIL] VA Extends Deadlines For Undiagnosed Gulf War Illnesses

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2011 15:56:46 -0600

VA Extends Deadlines For Undiagnosed Gulf War Illnesses
By Leo Shane III
Published: December 29, 2011

WASHINGTON - Officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs extended the
deadline Thursday for Iraq veterans with unexplained illnesses to qualify for
compensation and survivor benefits, pushing back the deadline to the end of
That deadline was set to expire Saturday. The move covers veterans from either
the just-completed Iraq War or the 1990-1991 Gulf War who have clear
service-related illnesses but not a clearly defined diagnosis.
Congress put the rule in place 1994 in response to reports of Gulf War Illness,
a set of mysterious and crippling medical symptoms for which experts still have
not found a unifying link. The move ensured that veterans would receive
disability payments and access to other VA programs while department researchers
continued to investigate the cause of the problems. The deadline has been
extended by VA officials several times since then
The policy covers, among other ailments, a host of unexplained skin disorders,
neurologic symptoms, respiratory issues and other chronic pain problems
experienced by troops who served in the more recent Iraq conflict.
Bradley Flohr, VA assistant director for compensation policy, said the decision
to extend the deadline again came because of the continued mysteries surrounding
illnesses from both conflicts, and the continued desire to make sure those
veterans are cared for.
Veterans or survivors who believe they qualify for these benefits can contact VA
at 1-800-827-1000. Further information about undiagnosed illnesses is available
online at http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/oefoif/index.asp.

SOURCE:  Stars and Stripes article at

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