A considerable bulk of today’s active-duty and retired veterans will have seen action during the Persian Gulf War back in the early 1990s and continued service as part of the War on Terror. However, medical disorders that came about as a result of the Gulf conflict – the so-called Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) – have complicated matters for veterans who’ve sought disability insurance benefits. This requires a clearer understanding of how GWS factors in when applying for Social Security Disability insurance.
Some chronic illnesses have been identified as also diagnosable under GWS, especially if the veteran underwent some chemical exposure at any point of the campaign. They include depression, anxiety, memory loss, and breathing problems. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder falls under anxiety if psychological testing shows trauma from certain episodes in the conflict. A traumatic brain injury may be a potential case for disability benefits if medical findings revealed it impaired some of your body functions to the point that you could not work properly.
Previous U.S. Circuit Court rulings have found that the Social Security Administration cannot fully disregard any VA disability findings. However, the SSA must exercise grave discretion in accounting for its weight in deciding the degree of disability.
No person who sustained injuries in service to the nation must be left high and dry. However, the burden is on them to prove that their condition warrants the appropriate benefits.