Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Veterans' Disability Benefits

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • I was surprised to discover that currently only three illnesses are specifically named and recognized by the U.S. government as qualifying a veteran who has served in Southwest Asia for disability benefits.  I was shocked when I learned that those three illnesses are fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome.  

    What I find intriguing is the fact that the same three illnesses, which are questioned and considered highly suspect when it comes to Social Security Disability, are considered to be valid and worthy of disability benefits by the Veterans Administration.  It is certainly an interesting dichotomy.  If only these two segments of our government would get together and compare notes.  
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    Why have these three conditions been singled out by the VA?  According to WIS TV in Columbia, S.C. who spoke with Bryan Kerouc of the Disabled American Vets, it’s not because they’ve proven that something in the Gulf region caused the illnesses but rather that they couldn’t ignore “the overwhelming amount of veterans coming back with those three conditions…”  Dare we hope that the Social Security Administration will soon recognize the ever-increasing number of people being diagnosed with these illnesses and stop questioning the legitimacy of their disability? 

    You can read the section of Title 38 pertaining to benefits for FM, CFS and IBS on the American GulfWar Vets Association’s Web site.  

Published On: June 28, 2007