I previous blogs, we have written about the regulations governing what is now called Gulf War Illness (GWI). As prescribed in regulation, the terms of art “undiagnosed illness” and “medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (MUCMI)” are little understood and difficult for veterans and physicians to understand. In handling claims involving exposure to environmental hazards in Iraq and Afghanistan, I maintain that a veteran should still attempt to satisfy the three elements for service connection under 38 C.F.R. § 3.303: (1) medical evidence of a current disability; (2) medical, or in certain circumstances, lay evidence of in-service incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and (3) medical, or in certain circumstances, lay evidence of a nexus between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the current disability. See also Shedden v. Principi, 381 F.3d 1163, 1166-67 (Fed. Cir. 2004)
Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary, Robert McDonald, answered questions regarding GWI with the National Gulf War Resource Center. Secretary McDonald’s answers can be found at Gulf War Illness, Sec McDonald, Q&A.