HOW GULF WAR VETERANS CAN GET VA DISABILITY FOR FIBROMYALGIA
Due to their military service, many veterans of the Gulf War suffer from various health issues that qualify them for VA disability benefits. Veterans must make claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to access VA benefits and resources available to them and should not abandon hope if their VA claims are initially denied. Filing veterans claims with the VA can be complicated, especially for a medical disorder not well understood or easy to diagnose, such as fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic medical disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain throughout the body and tenderness (sensitivity to touch) lasting as long as three months or more. Women tend to be affected more often than men. Fibromyalgia pain occurs on both sides of the body (left and right) and above and below the waist. The disability is accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Veterans of the Gulf War suffering from fibromyalgia have widespread pain symptoms that come and go and move around the body.
If you have a medical diagnosis of fibromyalgia and the VA has denied your claim, the law firm of Wettermark Keith can help you with an appeal for your veterans benefits. We are not only a personal injury law firm; our legal team of accredited VA lawyers has the resources, knowledge, and experience to get the VA disability benefits veterans deserve. Disability monetary payments from the VA can provide for you and your family if your employment status changes and is affected by this medical condition.
WHAT CAUSES FIBROMYALGIA IN VETERANS?
The causes of fibromyalgia in veterans are unknown and may differ from one person to another. Thought possibly to have a genetic component and run in families, it is not an autoimmune or inflammation-based illness, but the nervous system is most likely involved. Service-related fibromyalgia in veterans may be triggered by physical or emotional trauma, psychological stress, infections, and/or repetitive injuries. Although it can affect a person's quality of life, fibromyalgia is not deadly. Treatment to manage symptoms usually includes prescription medications and a combination of psychological, behavioral, and physical therapy.
fibromyalgia gulf war VETERANS DISABILITY SOLUTIONS
FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
Gulf War veterans do not have to prove a connection between their illnesses and service when diagnosed with fibromyalgia because the VA considers it a presumptive condition. Gulf War veterans must have a VA disability rating of at least 10 percent to get fibromyalgia service-connected benefits. Also, symptoms must have started during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or by December 31, 2026.
A VA doctor, like a rheumatologist, gives a physical exam to diagnose fibromyalgia and test the sensitivity of a veteran's patient trigger points. The veteran must have widespread pain in 11 of 18 possible points that has lasted over three months long. Pain must be felt above and below the waist and on both sides of the body.
Fibromyalgia tender points are symmetrical, occur on both sides of the body, and cause pain when pressed with force. These tender points include:
- Front lower sides of the neck
- Upper chest
- Inner elbows
- Inner knees
- Back of the head at the base of the skull
- Top of shoulders
- Between shoulder blades
- Upper outer buttock
Tender points are small, and all are around joints, but fibromyalgia pain affects the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles, not the joints themselves. Fibromyalgia can also cause general muscle fatigue and widespread chronic pain. Pain can fluctuate in intensity and location from day to day. Veteran sufferers may feel intense pain in certain areas one day and then feel more or less pain in other places the next day.
Fibromyalgia is a presumptive illness for most Gulf War veterans. The VA presumes some medical conditions for veterans were caused by active Gulf War service duty. As a presumptive illness, veterans do not have to prove a service connection between the disease and their military service to file VA disability claims.
VA DISABILITY RATING FOR FIBROMYALGIA
Veterans with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia will get a 10, 20, or 40 percent disability rating based on their symptoms. The fibromyalgia VA rating percentages are:
- 10% - requires medication continuously for control of symptoms
- 20% - symptoms are present more than a third of the time, occasionally occur and at irregular intervals, with problems often caused by environmental factors, emotional stress, or physical overexertion
- 40% - symptoms are almost always constant and resistant to medication and therapy
Veterans can obtain a higher fibromyalgia rating if another related disability is combined with it.
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE SECONDARY TO FIBROMYALGIA?
Secondary conditions often develop for veterans due to a service-connected disability. Compensation for a secondary condition is possible if it can be proven there is a connection between the two. Veterans experiencing ongoing pain from fibromyalgia may become withdrawn and less active and have other secondary conditions such as depression. Secondary conditions developing from fibromyalgia may allow veterans to receive additional VA disability compensation. Some of these secondary conditions include:
CAN A VETERAN GET BOTH SOCIAL SECURITY AND VA DISABILITY BENEFITS?
Claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) compensation and VA disability compensation do not affect one another. Veterans may be eligible to receive both, depending on income and other resources, but must apply separately for Social Security disability benefits and VA disability benefits. The application process and definition of disability are different for each. VA health services may be supplemented with Medicaid and Medicare benefits as well if veterans qualify.
WHO CAN HELP GULF WAR VETERANS WITH A FIBROMYALGIA DISABILITY CLAIM?
The legal firm of Wettermark Keith understands the VA process for disability compensation and filing VA claims. We have helped many veterans receive their VA disability benefits for fibromyalgia with our extensive veterans law resources. Our attorneys have years of experience helping veterans and dealing with the VA, the claims process for VA disability benefits, and appeals for VA denial. We have the resources and can help prepare you for the long VA application process and explain what to expect with veteran disability claims.
Get started with your veterans disability benefits claim by filling out the attached form in the link below or by scheduling a free consultation appointment with the legal team at Wettermark Keith. We can discuss your situation and answer your questions. Our office operates on a no-fee guarantee basis, so if we can't get you the VA compensation you deserve, you won't pay us anything.
Veterans Crisis Line (24/7 - Confidential Crisis Support for veterans and their families)
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CONTACT FIBROMYALGIA VA DISABILITY LAWYERS
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