The following is an excerpt from Eric Pianin | July 11, 2017 | Thefiscaltimes.com |
A remarkable 44 percent of the nearly 700,000 U.S. military personnel who served in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War suffer from chronic symptom that include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, memory loss, neurological disorders, skin problems and respiratory disease.
Yet according to a new Government Accountability Office report, these veterans are finding it considerably more difficult than others to process their claims for benefits and treatment at Department of Veterans Affairs health centers.
On average, Gulf War injury claims involve twice as many medical issues as other disability claims, and they take four months longer to complete than other more routine claims. Between fiscal years 2010 and 2015 – the most recent data available -- approval rates for GWI claims were about three times lower than for all other claimed disabilities, according to the GAO.
The reasons for the huge disparity in approval rates and the granting of disability insurance are varied, and frequently stem from the lack of medical records or corroborative evidence. But perhaps the biggest problem is the sheer ignorance of doctors and other medical staff in diagnosing and treating illnesses whose exact causes are often difficult to discern.
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