New Presumptive Illnesses recognized by the VA for Veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf
The VA has established new presumptions of service connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War, or in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001. The nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War from 1990 to the present and in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001 are:
- Campylobacter jejuni
- Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- Nontyphoid Salmonella
- Visceral leishmaniasis
- West Nile virus
With the proposed rule, a Veteran will only have to show service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan, and a current diagnosis of one of the nine diseases. Because the Persian Gulf War has not officially been declared ended, Veterans serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible for VA's new presumptions.
For non-presumptive conditions, a Veteran is required to provide medical evidence that can be used to establish an actual connection between military service in Southwest Asia or in Afghanistan, and a specific disease. Presently, the basic monthly rate of compensation ranges from $123 to $2,673 to Veterans without any dependents. Disability compensation is a non-taxable, monthly monetary benefit paid to Veterans who are disabled as a result of an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service.
Parkinson's Disease Among New Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has added Parkinson's Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease and Hairy-Cell Leukemia to the growing list of illnesses presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant used widely in Vietnam.
The proposal will make it substantially easier for thousands of veterans to claim that those ailments were the direct result of their service in Vietnam, thereby smoothing the way for them to receive monthly disability checks and health care services from the department.
Other illnesses previously recognized under VA's "presumption" rule as being caused by exposure to herbicides during the Vietnam War are:
- Acute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
- Hodgkin's Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers, and
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or Mesothelioma)
If a Veteran's service aboard one of these ships can be confirmed through military records during the time frames specified, then exposure to herbicide agents can be presumed without further development. Veterans who served aboard these ships are referred to as "Blue Water Navy Veterans". To view list qualifying ships click HERE.
VA Establishes ALS as a Presumptive Compensable Illness
Veterans with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS - or Lou Gehrig's Disease) may receive badly-needed support for themselves and their families after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that ALS will become a presumptively compensable illness for all veterans with 90 days or more of continuously active service in the military. To view official press release click HERE.