Gulf War Compensation Denial Rate

Dept. Veteran Affairs denies more than 80% of veterans’ claims for benefits connected to Gulf War-related disabilities.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office filed a report in June of 2017 publishing the investigation on the VA’s denial of Gulf War claims. The VA estimated that 44% of veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War or who have been deployed to Southwest Asia have medical issues resulting from service. Yet despite this, these Veterans claims are being denied most frequently. This study was done to find out if the VA is processing these claims correctly.

“In Recent Years, Completed Gulf War Illness Claims Have Risen, Included More Medical Issues, and Been Approved at Lower Rates Than Other Service-related Disabilities” -GAO Gulf War Illness Report

According to Melissa Emery-Arras, the VA spent about $2 million in 2014 on GWI and couldn’t come up with a case definition. 

According to the Department of Defense, the symptoms many Veterans are facing result from a multitude of chemicals. They may have been exposed to pesticides, smoke from oil well fires, depleted uranium and more. The symptoms presented were not ones that fit into the usual categories of illnesses faced. This resulted in confusion among many healthcare providers and raised the question, what does cause these mystery illnesses. 

What classifies as Gulf War Illness?

Gulf War Illness can include a wide range of chronic illness. These include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, respiratory disorders, skin problems, and memory impairment. The cause of these illness’ is not known, and the symptoms range drastically from person to person. But, Gulf War Illness can include multiple different illnesses, including up to 9 different diseases.

To receive benefits classifying under GWI, you had to have served active duty in Southwest Asia after August 2, 1990, and fall under one of three categories.

Gulf War Compensation Denial Rate 2017.07.18 GAO GWI symptoms and medical issues

How do I get my claim approved?

The VA can award you benefits if you served in the Gulf War and currently display symptoms from service, without you having to get a medical exam. But, by getting a medical exam, it can help solidify your claim and assess the severity of the disability. The VA also provides compensation if your GWI falls under one of three categories:

Undiagnosed Illnesses

You have to have served active duty in Southwest Asia between August 2, 1990, to the present. And, have a chronic disability from an undiagnosed illness, a medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness or both. This had to have taken place during active duty a 10% rating or more before December 31, 2021.

Medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses

Nine specific infectious diseases

These are diagnosable conditions which have been linked to exposure in Southwest Asia. If you are diagnosed with one of these qualifying diseases, your claim should be granted. If your Gulf War-related claim has been denied before, the Federal law entitles you to compensation benefits if you can prove that your disability is related to service.

These veterans have to wait an average of four months longer to hear back from the VA.

The VA made this training for VA examiners optional. Resulting in a majority of the medical examiners do not know how to correctly assess this type of claim.

VA needs to have specific people in the VA office who work with Gulf War Claims, not just catch-alls.

At the end of the study done by the GAO, they recommended that the VA require training for medical examiners to learn more about GWI and improve decision letters. They also asked that the VA create a definition for GWI claims. The VA agreed, but still, not much has been done to fix this.

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀


Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.