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Gwvets Presumptive Period-


Berta

Question

From: Colonel Dan Cedusky:

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/ge...e=2006_register

<http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2006_register&po

sition=all&page=75670> &position=all&page=75670

Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 242 / Monday, December 18, 2006 / Rules and

Regulations

Presumptive period was due to expire 31 Dec 2006. Has been extended 5 years

to 31 Dec 2011. some info extracted from web site above

***************

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 3

RIN 2900-AM47

Extension of the Presumptive Period for Compensation for Gulf War

Veterans

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

----------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this

interim final rule to amend its adjudication regulations regarding

compensation for

[[Page 75670]]

disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses suffered by veterans

who served in the Persian Gulf War. This amendment is necessary to

extend the presumptive period for qualifying chronic disabilities

resulting from undiagnosed illnesses that must become manifest to a

compensable degree in order that entitlement for compensation be

established. The intended effect of this amendment is to provide

consistency in VA adjudication policy and preserve certain rights

afforded to Persian Gulf War veterans and ensure fairness for current

and future Persian Gulf War veterans.

DATES: Effective Date: This interim final rule is effective December

18, 2006. Comments must be received by VA on or before February 16,

2007.

In 2001, the Secretary extended the presumptive period for

undiagnosed illnesses suffered by Persian Gulf War veterans from

December 31, 2001, to December 31, 2006, based upon ongoing research

that would require review by the Secretary. VA published an interim

final rule amending 38 CFR 3.317 to extend the presumptive period to

December 31, 2006 (an additional 5 years). See 66 FR 56614, November 9,

2001.

In December 2001, section 202(a) of Public Law 107-103 amended 38

U.S.C. 1117 by revising the term ``chronic disability'' to include the

following (or any combination of the following): (a) An undiagnosed

illness; (:) a medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness (such

as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel

syndrome) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; or © any

diagnosed illness that the Secretary determines warrants a presumption

of service connection. The revised term, ``qualifying chronic

disability,'' has broadened the scope of those health outcomes the

Secretary may include under the presumption of service connection.

Under 38 U.S.C. 1117, a qualifying chronic disability must still occur

during service on active duty in the Armed Forces in the Southwest Asia

theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War, or to a degree of 10

percent or more during the presumptive period prescribed following such

service. Accordingly, VA amended 38 CFR 3.317 to reflect these changes.

See 68 FR 34539, June 10, 2003.

III. Current Research

The NAS' Committee on Gulf War and Health has several meetings

planned during 2006 in support of current research projects. One such

research project is Physiologic, Psychologic, and Psychosocial Effects

of Deployment Related Stress. The objective of this project is to

comprehensively review, evaluate, and summarize the scientific and

medical literature for peer review regarding the association between

stress and long-term adverse health effects in the Gulf War.

The NAS study is not limited to veterans of the Persian Gulf War

deployments of the early 1990s but also includes veterans of current

conflicts, such as Operation Iraqi Freedom, occurring in part, within

the Southwest Asia theater of operations.

[[Page 75671]]

In addition to the above-referenced report, we anticipate that the

NAS will prepare other reports relevant to Gulf War veterans' health,

including reports required by Public Law 105-277 to be prepared every 2

years through October 1, 2010. These research projects have the

potential of bringing much needed information to the Secretary

regarding the establishment of a new, more definitive, presumptive

period for Gulf War veterans with qualifying chronic disabilities.

These NAS research projects have begun and are currently ongoing.

Presently, VA continues to receive claims for qualifying chronic

disabilities. In 2005 for example, VA received 2,241 new claims with

diagnostic codes that would be affected by this final rule, and we

continue to receive such claims during 2006.

Conclusion

Currently, military operations in the Southwest Asia theater of

operations continue, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. No end date for

the Gulf War has been established by Congress or the President. See 38

U.S.C. 101(33). Because scientific uncertainty remains as to the cause

of illnesses suffered by Persian Gulf War veterans and current IOM

research studies are incomplete, limiting entitlement to benefits

payable under 38 U.S.C. 1117 due to the expiration of the presumptive

period in 38 CFR 3.317 is premature. If extension of the current

presumptive period is not implemented, servicemembers conducting

military operations in the Southwest Asia theater of operations after

December 31, 2006, could be substantially disadvantaged compared to

servicemembers who previously served in the same theater of operations.

Therefore, VA is extending the presumptive period in 38 CFR 3.317

for qualifying chronic disabilities that become manifest to a degree of

10 percent or more through December 31, 2011 (a period of 5 years), to

ensure those benefits established by Congress are fairly administered.

PART 3--ADJUDICATION

Subpart A--Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity

Compensation

0

1. The authority citation for part 3, subpart A continues to read as

follows:

Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), unless otherwise noted.

Sec. 3.317 [Amended]

0

2. In Sec. 3.317, paragraph (a)(1)(i) is amended by removing

``December 31, 2006'' and adding, in its place, ``December 31, 2011''.

[FR Doc. E6-21531 Filed 12-15-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8320-01-P

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

__._,_.___

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"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:

http://www.angelfire.com/il2/VeteranIssues/

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