Some chronic conditions and symptoms are difficult for doctors to properly diagnose. Known as Medically Unexplained Chronic Multisymptom Illnesses, or MUCMI, these conditions appear to have no recognizable cause. Many veterans report an MUCMI after serving in certain regions overseas.

Receiving a diagnosis within one year after serving on active duty in these areas may prequalify veterans for disability compensation provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Even so, applicants must still provide a doctor’s diagnosis and prove entitlement to service connection to receive payments.

MUCMIs and Veterans’ Health

Serving in the military comes with many risks. This is especially true for military members who served active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Southwestern Asian countries. Many of these veterans have returned home with a variety of chronic and disabling medical conditions, such as:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances, including sleep apnea in some cases

Neither VA nor its doctors have a definitive explanation for why veterans are experiencing these symptoms. However, there is a positive correlation between active duty in the aforementioned locations and these symptoms. A former servicemember who is suffering from the adverse effects of a medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness may qualify for VA disability compensation benefits.

Pursuing Benefits

Applicants who are seeking disability benefits from VA are typically required to prove a connection between their active duty service and their current diagnosis. However, the presence of an MUCMI may allow qualifying applicants to skip this step.

VA recognizes that active duty service in the Middle East can lead to many unexplained health problems in veterans. These conditions are so prevalent that VA may presume that a current medical condition is connected to a veteran’s active duty service.

To receive these benefits, an applicant must show that they served active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other Southwestern Asian counties and that their condition began on or before the delimitating date (currently December 31, 2021; however,  this end date has changed multiple times in the past and is likely to change again). Additionally, the condition must have lasted for at least six months and warrant at least a ten percent disability rating. Proving these factors can be made easier with assistance of a VA-accredited lawyer from our firm.

Obtaining Benefits for a Medically Unexplained Chronic Multisymptom Illness

Exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances increase a veteran’s likelihood of developing chronic diseases later in life. Many of these diseases involve symptoms that are unexplainable and even incurable. Veterans with medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses may be able to claim VA disability compensation benefits with the professional help and guidance of an attorney.

MUCMI most often affect veterans of the Gulf War or otherwise served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and some other Southwestern Asian countries. If you have returned home form active duty military service with cardiovascular conditions, chronic pain, or neurological problems, VA may presume your entitlement to service connection, which would qualify you for disability benefits. Contact a skilled lawyer from our team today to learn more about how an MUCMI diagnosis may qualify you for disability compensation from VA.

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