Gulf War Illness Extended

PART 3 – ADJUDICATION

Compensation for Certain Disabilities Due to Undiagnosed Illnesses and Medically Unexplained Chronic Multi-Symptom Illnesses

AMENDMENT TO 38 C.F.R. § 3.317

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued an interim final rule to amend its adjudication regulation regarding compensation for disabilities suffered by veterans who served in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations during the Persian Gulf War. This amendment extends the period during which disabilities associated with undiagnosed illnesses and medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses must become manifest in order for a veteran to be eligible for compensation. The interim final rule is effective December 29, 2011. Section 501(a) of Title 38, United States Code, provides that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs ‘‘[h]as authority to prescribe all rules and regulations which are necessary or appropriate to carry out the laws administered by the Department and are consistent with those laws.’’ Because scientific uncertainty remains as to the cause of illnesses suffered by Persian Gulf War veterans and the time period in which such veterans have an increased risk of chronic multi-symptom illness, and because scientific studies and National Academy of Sciences reviews are ongoing, VA has amended 38 CFR 3.317 to extend the evaluation period from December 31, 2011, to December 31, 2016.

PART 3—ADJUDICATION

1. The authority citation for part 3, subpart A continues to read as follows: Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), unless otherwise noted.

§ 3.317 [Amended] 2. In § 3.317, paragraph (a)(1)(i), remove the date ‘‘December 31, 2011’’ and add, in its place, ‘‘December 31, 2016’’.

The Federal Register announcement is included as part of this Service Dispatch. National Service Officers should familiarize themselves with the new provisions of 38 C.F.R. § 3.317 in order to assist eligible veterans during the extended eligibility period.

 

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