11 Jul '17, 4am

Report: VA claims for Gulf War illness denied 80 percent of the time

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs denies more than 80 percent of veterans’ claims for benefits for Gulf War-associated illnesses -- an approval rating three times lower than all other types of claims, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday. From 2010 to 2015, the VA approved 17 percent of claims – or 18,000 of 102,000 -- for health care and disability compensation for veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness, which is an umbrella term for certain medical conditions common in some of the 1 million servicemembers who deployed to Southwest Asia in the past 27 years. Besides claims getting denied more often, veterans seeking benefits for Gulf War illness are having to wait four months longer on average to hear back from the VA, the GAO found. There’s confusion among VA staff about how to handle the claims, the report states. The Go...

Full article: https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/report-va-claims-for...

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