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Question On Claims Filed For Gwi And Ptsd



I went to my local DAV almost 9 months ago and through them, filed a claim for Gulf War Illness and PTSD. This past week, I had finally received a thick packet in the mail from the VA. They give me 30 days to respond. My question, do I need to write a Nexus letter for PTSD? Part of the packet, there is 4 pages of Statement In Support Of Claim For Service Connection. Why 4? Do I have family fill them out, that know what I go through?

Oddly, there is no mention of my filing a claim for Gulf War Illness. Any reccommendations on my next steps?

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Gulf War Illness or Syndrome is a generic term that could involve certain key diagnoses or a qualifying “medically unexplained” illness as defined in the Gulf War regulations.

“Under 38 C.F.R. § 3.317, a Persian Gulf veteran who exhibits objective indications of a qualifying chronic disability may be service connected, provided that such disability became manifest either during active military, naval, or air service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more not later than December 31, 2011, and by history, physical examination, and laboratory tests cannot be attributed to any known clinical diagnosis. A "qualifying chronic disability" has been defined to mean a chronic disability resulting from any of the following (or any combination of the following): (1) an undiagnosed illness; or (2) medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses that are defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms (specifically chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, or any other illness the Secretary determines meets the criteria of a medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses). 38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(2).

The term "medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness" means a diagnosed illness without conclusive pathophysiology or etiology, that is characterized by overlapping symptoms and signs and has features such as fatigue, pain, disability out of proportion to physical findings, and inconsistent demonstration of laboratory abnormalities. 38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(2)(ii). Chronic multisymptom illnesses of partially understood etiology and pathophysiology will not be considered medically unexplained. Id. "Objective indications of chronic disability" include both "signs" in the medical sense of objective evidence perceptible to an examining physician, and other, non-medical indicators that are capable of independent verification. 38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(3). Disabilities that have existed for 6 months or more and disabilities that exhibit intermittent episodes of improvement and worsening over a 6-month period will be considered chronic. 38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(4). The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which the pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. Id. “

I have seen GWV claims fail because the illness the veteran had was not clearly defined to the VA in the claim.

This recent BVA case shows what I mean:

“IV. Gulf War Syndrome

The Veteran has claimed service connection for "Gulf War Syndrome." He has been service connected for disorders secondary to his Gulf War Experience, but has outline no specific symptoms to the "Gulf War Syndrome" that has been claimed. Compensation is paid for disabilities or injuries or chronic diseases incurred in or aggravated by service. There needs to be a disability. No disability has been attributed to this claimed entity. As such, there is nothing to service connect as there is no clinical diagnosis. See 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1110, 1117, 1131. “

The BVA is right-there is no ratable condition called Gulf War Syndrome or Illness-it is manifested by illnesses as noted in the regulation above.



We have a Gulf War forum here and also a member, Gulfvet45,

who I am sure will see this post and knows the whole 9 yards on GW claims.

James A. Bunker

Executive Director

National Gulf War Resource Center

2611 SW 17th Street

Topeka, KS 66604

Phone: Toll free 866-531-7183


Email: jim@ngwrc.org

However I suggest first to familiarize your self with the GWV illness forum here. There are also 9 additional presumptives that are listed in the GW forum here and also in an archived SVR show I did with Jerrel Cook available through the SVR radio archives as to these 9 additional GW presumptves.

I assume you received a VCAA letter -and it says Important Reply Requested. ???

“Oddly, there is no mention of my filing a claim for Gulf War Illness. Any reccommendations on my next steps? “

Call your DAV rep to find out why it isn't mentioned. Do you have a copy of the original claim you filed?

Did the rep advise you of the GWV syndrome criteria that is explained above?

For the PTSD claim- you will fall under the new PTSD criteria which is here in our PTSD forum at

New PTSD claims require a VA MH diagnosis as well as proof of a stressor.

I assume the VA asked you for stressor details in the letter?

If the stressor does not fall into the above regulations, the VA will attempt to verify it via Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC) so it is best to give the VA as many details as possible as to date and place, unit etc of the stressor event.

“Part of the packet, there is 4 pages of Statement In Support Of Claim For Service Connection. Why 4? Do I have family fill them out, that know what I go through”

You might need a buddy statement or two ,to corroborate your stressor. You can use these forms to give VA any more detailed information as to the stressor.Or use as a cover letter for any buddy statements you might need to get.

Buddy statement info can be searched here as to what these statements need to cover.

For PTSD claims, the VA does not really consider family statements , for new claims because they need to

diagnose the PTSD first and then verify the inservice stressor which a lay person could not do.

If this is in fact a VCAA letter the VA should have explained to you what info they need.

If you have the PH, CAR, or CIB on your DD 214 the VA will surely concede the stressor.

Many vets fit into the new PTSD criteria easily but others need more proof of the stressor..Do you have a copy of your SMRs?

Do you have private treatment records for any illnesses that fall under the GW presumptives? If so make sure VA is aware of these private records.

Edited by Berta
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I got one of those, too. There should be a PTSD Questionaire in there, and the blank statement in support of Claim forms. If you need more you can always just get the fillable ones online.

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