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Veterans' News

Update On Extension Of Presumptive Period For Persian Gulf War Veterans

The Department of Veteran Affairs has extended the presumptive period to Dec. 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 was not implemented, service members whose conditions arise after Dec. 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 cause, including, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, 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 who are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and other unexplained medical issues are encouraged to file a claim.

Learn more about VA and Gulf War Veterans.

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Update On Claims For Asthma, Rhinitis, Sinusitis 

Please see the below announcement from the VA: 

The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin processing disability claims Aug. 2 for asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis on
a presumptive basis based on presumed particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas — if these conditions manifested within 10 years of a qualifying period of military service.

VA conducted the first iteration of a newly formed internal VA process to review scientific evidence to support rulemaking, resulting in the recommendation to consider creation of new presumptions of service connection for respiratory conditions based on VA’s evaluation of a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine report and other evidence.

The process concluded that particulate matter pollution is associated with chronic asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis for Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning Aug. 2, 1990 to the present, or Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria or Djibouti beginning Sept. 19, 2001 to the present. VA’s review also concluded that there was sufficient evidence to presume that these Veterans have been exposed to particulate matter.

The Southwest Asia theater of operations refers to Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the airspace above these locations.

VA will conduct outreach to impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and will provide information on how to apply. Veterans and survivors who believe they may be eligible for the newly established presumptive conditions are encouraged to apply. They should file a VA Form 21-526EZ if applying for the first time or a VA Form 20-0995 if they are reapplying for these conditions. For more information on the new presumptive conditions, visit our website at Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures - Public Health (va.gov).

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UPDATE ON DEBT COLLECTION

With the October 1st restart of collections, veterans can still contact DMC and request continued debt relief due tot he COVID pandemic through September 30, 2022. 

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ALERT - ALERT - ALERT

Veterans! This alert is to create awareness of fraudulent activity concerning companies requesting Veterans to  take advantage Medicare benefits for Durable Medical Equipment (DME) that have not been deemed necessary by their physician. 

  • Receiving a phone call or request for your Medicare number and any additional benefits information from someone other than your physician’s office is a red flag of potential DME fraud. We are asking Veterans to remain vigilant by always reviewing their Medical Summary Notices (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB) looking for charges for equipment (wheelchairs, surgical supplies, ankle braces, etc.) that were never requested, or never received.  

    To keep your information safe, North Florida/ South Georgia Veterans Health System will continue to review and verify all outside communication to ensure the request are consistent with the Veteran’s medical history and care plan.

    Veterans can report suspected Medicare fraud by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Those on Medicare Advantage Plan, can call the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC) at 1-877-7SAFERX (1-877-772-3379. 

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My HealtheVet — North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System 

The program can help you with:

  • Refilling VA medicine prescriptions
  • Viewing laboratory tests
  • Managing personal wellness reminders
  • Scheduling VA medical appointments, to include viewing past and future appointments
  • Accessing provider/clinician health care notes
  • Viewing radiology reports/images
  • Communicating directly with health care teams using a secure email known as secure messaging

To enroll today, please visit: User Registration - My HealtheVet (va.gov).

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