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By Ken Cruickshank
Veterans Service Officer Tulare County 

Gulf War Presumptive Disability Period Extended


Last updated 9/3/2023 at 4:03pm | View PDF

Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made a decision regarding Gulf War Veterans and has extended the presumptive disability period to December 31, 2026, for qualifying chronic disabilities rated 10% or more, resulting from undiagnosed illnesses in Persian Gulf War Veterans to ensure benefits established by Congress are fairly administered.

If an extension of the current presumptive period were not implemented, service members whose conditions arose after December 31, 2021, would be substantially disadvantaged compared to service members whose conditions manifested at an earlier date.

Limiting entitlement to benefits due to the expiration of the presumptive period would be premature given that current studies remain inconclusive as to the cause and time of onset of illnesses suffered by Persian Gulf War Veterans.

VA presumes certain medically unexplained illnesses are related to Persian Gulf War service without regard to the cause, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and functional gastrointestinal disorders. Also included are undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to: abnormal weight loss, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.

Persian Gulf War Veterans experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or other unexplained medical issues are encouraged to file a compensation claim for them.

If you want to pursue a claim for benefits, please contact the office for an appointment, and we can assist you in completing a claim.

Ken Cruickshank, the Veterans Services Officer for Tulare County, is a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. Contact him at the Veterans Services Office at 3348 W. Mineral King Ave., Visalia; by phone at (559) 713-2880; or by email at


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