Gulf War veterans see an increase in health care coverage

By June 24, 2011Veterans

Veterans Administration benefits cover a wide variety of services.  Examples range from Pension, which is a cash assistance benefit for Arizona veterans who satisfy an income test, to Compensation, which compensates Arizona veterans for disabilities sustained during their service.  While every veterans’ benefit program has the potential to help Arizona veterans tremendously, qualifying for veterans’ benefits generally requires veterans to undergo a complicated application process.

The VA recently announced that it is going to eliminate some of the barriers that have prevented certain AZ veterans from receiving VA health care benefits and Compensation.  Until recently, Gulf War veterans had the burden of proving that certain diseases were service-related in order to qualify for veterans’ benefits.  Veterans had to affirmatively demonstrate that they contracted any of the following diseases as a direct result of their wartime service:  Brucellosis, Campylobacter jejuni, Coxiella Burnetii (Q fever), Malaria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nontyphoid Salmonella, Shigella, Visceral leishmaniasis and West Nile virus.  With the recent change, however, Gulf War veterans with one of these diseases are presumed to have contracted it as a result of their service, thereby relieving them of the sometimes difficult chore of proving that it was service-related.

While the VA’s decision to relax its standards on this issue will undoubtedly help some veterans, there are a great deal of barriers that continue to make application for certain benefits difficult.  Take the Pension benefit for instance, where Veterans must show their income satisfies an income test to qualify.  While this seems pretty straightforward, veterans who fail to take the proper deductions can severely limit the amount of Pension they may be eligible for.  To qualify for the maximum amount of benefits, Arizona veterans should work with a qualified veterans’ benefit attorney.  To schedule a consultation with an Arizona veterans’ benefit attorney, do not hesitate to contact JacksonWhite, by calling (480) 818-6912.