Gulf War Illness GAO Report

A report released Monday revealed VA denies 4 of 5 disability claims for veterans claiming disability for Gulf War illness despite evidence showing over 40 percent suffer from it.

The Government Accountability Office released a report Monday analyzing Gulf War Illness (GWI) claims of veterans from 2010 to 2015. Of the 102,000 claims received, VA only approved 18,000. That is less than 20 percent.

Problems with the unusually high rejection numbers include:

  • Poor training of VA medical examiners
  • Poor training of VA adjudicators
  • Vague denial letters
  • Erratic application of diagnostic standards
  • Etc (insert all normal mistakes VA always makes)

Is VA Leadership To Blame?

Gina Farrisee, a retired Army General with a history of covering up scandals including the Pat Tillman friendly fire incident, in her role as VA deputy chief of staff, stated that medical examiners would be required to take training on Gulf War illness.

RELATED: General Reprimanded In Tillman Scandal Now Head Of VA Human Resources

To this point, all training for Gulf War illness was optional, and only a small percentage (10 percent) of medical examiners took the training. Unlike many other disabling conditions, Gulf War is more nuanced with a variety of symptoms and causes the result in similar problems that are not conventionally studied in medical programs.

Did VA Know About The Problem?

Do we think the lack of training on how to diagnose Gulf War illness contributed to the super low approval ratings for claims?

Yes.

Do we think VA was aware of the poor training numbers over the previous 27 years VA has wrongly denied floods of Gulf War illness claims?

Yes.

Do we think VA really cares about getting it right for any and all veteran disability claims?

Hell no.

This seems similar to the recent revelation that VA used unqualified doctors to evaluate veterans who claim benefits for traumatic brain injury residuals. Even veterans with documented concussions with documented residuals were denied benefits by incompetent doctors.

RELATED: VA Admits Almost 25,000 Veterans Affected By TBI Scandal

VA knew about the problem but did not address it nationwide until the press began to sniff around. Now, we are learning that Gulf War veterans are experiencing a similar fate.

Bureau Of War Risk Insurance

VA used to be called the Bureau of War Risk Insurance. All its disability policies have their Genesis from that period, using restrictive insurance adjudication policies to game the system.

This may explain why people like Gina Farrisee are kept in the system for so long.

Hell, Farrisee was pushed into the role by former chief of staff John Gingrich, an Army commander responsible for covering up one of the key Gulf War exposures to chemical weapons unveiled in 2015 by Newsweek.

RELATED: Former VA Chief Of Staff Linked To Gulf War Cover-up

Beyond this, Farrisee’s supervision in the Army was linked to the Tillman cover-up – – she was actually reprimanded for her role. She was also linked to a massive wrongful discharge scheme of soldiers suffering from PTSD who were falsely diagnosed with personality disorder.

If you think this sounds like a fluke that somehow results in screwing over the same population affected by a previous cover-up orchestrated by Gingrich, you are a fool.

Farrisee is exactly where America’s controllers want her to be. She is a career bureaucrat whose sole existence in the government has been linked to scandal after scandal while in the Army.

And, for those of you thinking VA will suddenly fix this problem, just remember VA is also still fighting against science proving the affect of Agent Orange. Odds are VA will fight against what is right for Gulf War veterans, too.

Will Trump Fire Farrisee?

I cannot help but wonder what heads might roll after such a horrific and disgusting example of how VA is historically screwing veterans.

Should we expect President Donald Trump’s accountability program will do a thing to combat the bureaucratically inbred anti-veteran, anti-science positions the agency takes?

I would not hold my breath waiting for problems like this in VA. Screwing veterans out of benefits is the one thing VA has consistently mastered over the past eighty years.

You should not hold your breath, either.

Source: https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/685562.pdf

Bill

Another day and just another day in the VA neighborhood

COMEMREDIA VA
VETS A LEGAL FACT VA DC HQ WILL SHIT ON YOUR PARADE EVERY TIME VETS SCREWED [email protected] AGIN QUESTION IS VA DC HQ SANTANIC @ DEMONIC THIS IS A METAPHISICAL QUESTION ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? VA DC HQ ONE BIG INSANE HOUSE @ THE NUTS RUN THE INSANE HOUSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
91Veteran
Thank you for covering this Ben. Will Farrisee be fired? That question depends on who thinks veterans are given too much already. If certain fuckstix in Congress get their way, Farrisee will continue warming a chair. She is similar to Kelly Ann Brix who years after we returned home, was still pushing the bullshit narrative that all of our health problems were just PTSD. The problem here with Gulf War Illness claims is that VERY FEW employees in the VA… Read more »
CorpsmanUp!
Lol “fuckstix” Good one!!!! Adding that one to my catalog with “Tuna bag” The Persian Gulf has been tainted since Iran and Iraq were fighting. There was a big exposure near the Shatt el- arab waterway when the kurds were gassed. aka “Death River”. Farsi Island was and still is a hot spot I suspect. I wish I could have had access to test the waters we sampled back in the day with today’s technology. The Herc and Wimbrown 7… Read more »
91Veteran
Old leather, the Air Force had multiple air sampling stations in and around Kuwait or northern Saudi at the time of the war. I don’t recall how I found out about them, but I FOIA’d the data. It was shocking what they were finding with their samplers, but never admitted to or told the troops deployed. I imagine because it might piss off the Kuwaitis, particularly after so much DU was released from the Camp Doha fire. It burned for… Read more »
OLDMARINE

It’s plain murder with greed, and lies!…Them fucks calling the kettle black need to look in the mirror,just plain evil…All part of the agenda though, they want us all dead, And I don’t mean just the VET’S, And for the people that think I’m crazy quit watching that black box in your living room, You might figure it out eventually, Not that computer screens are any better..LOL They don’t call it a plasma TV for nothing

OLDMARINE

And the next big one is, IRAN we have them surrounded already, Besides it’s on their list, North Korea is just a little diversion…. Population reduction at it’s best…LOL

Windguy
OddMarine: This will be the Security/military industrial complex’s biggest dilemma going forward. Gulf War Vets and Iraq/Afghan Vets are figuring out that the missions had less to do with our collective security and more to do with money and the perpetual war machine. Between TBI, chemicals, field PTSD and/or moral injury, the numbers who can and should apply for benefits becomes staggering. Of course, like AO, a whole lot of that shit falls into the gray zone for the benefit… Read more »
OLDMARINE
Wingshear….“The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control. Do I mean a conspiracy? Yes, I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, incredibly evil in intent.” –Rep. Larry P. MacDonald, killed in Korean Air Lines 007, 1983 I think that his [Obama’s] task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in… Read more »
OLDMARINE
Windmill.. “One of the least understood strategies of the world revolution now moving rapidly toward its goal is the use of mind control as a major means of obtaining the consent of the people who will be subjects of the New World Order.” –K.M. Heaton, National Educator AND CAN’T FORGET GEORGE “We have before us the opportunity to forge, for ourselves and for future generations, a New World Order. A world where the rule of law, not the law of… Read more »
Lem

Fredric is right on!

Windguy
OiledMarinara, As if I don’t have enough fucking demons, you gotta bring up the Luciferian shit again. I was perfectly happy with being paranoid about the NWO, comfortable with my Jewluminaziburg conspirators and Creatures from Jekyll Island. I was happy in my own belief that Alex Jones and PP is a counter-op, intended to taint rational conspiracy with that which is closer to the edge. Butt no – here comes Lucifer with his barbed schwanzstucke. Butt – I’m curious –… Read more »
OLDMARINE
Wingflap….. The messages engraved on the Georgia Guidestones deal with four major fields (1) Governance and the establishment of a world government, (2) Population and reproduction control, (3) The environment and man’s relationship to nature, and (4) Spirituality. In the public library in Elberton, I found a book written by the man who called himself R.C. Christian. I discovered that the monument he commissioned had been erected in recognition of Thomas Paine and the occult philosophy he espoused. Indeed, the… Read more »
COMEMREDIA VA
CONGRESS ARE WORTHLESS SEWAGE RATS THEY WILL SCAM ALL VETS BY PLAYING A DOG @ PONY SHOW HOLY SHIT BATMAN VETS SCREWED AGIN @ AGIN @ AGIN THE NEVER ENDING STORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
91Veteran
To add to my comment above…the problem with the VA not being able to diagnose an illness until after Congress passed that law was that many veterans believed their illness may NOT be service connected, simply because the worthless VA always told us Gulf War vets that we were the only ones reporting it. When we finally compared notes, many vets found out how prevalent certain conditions were in our population. Also, the legislation for service connecting undiagnosed illnesses also… Read more »
James Clement
Denying 80% of Gulf War Illness claims comes as no surprise to me at all. It is high time for some real leadership at the VA. Leadership that speaks truth publicly about how bad things have really gotten. Leadership that develops solutions to take better of ALL of our nations warriors. Leadership that recognizes that if they are doing a good job – – – it will be the veterans singing their praises rather than them having the need for… Read more »
lily

Bastards.

Timothy L Coffey
My guess is that Gulf War syndrome is actually PCE and TCE exposure, I got out in March of 1990, and I know that they were still using the chemicals on weapons cleaning and motor pools, etc… So I don’t know for a Fact? But I would bet there is many similarities between Gulf War Syndrome and TCE exposure? It would make sense since the Military and VA had to be sued over Camp Lejeune, and they still have not… Read more »
91Veteran
We were exposed to a toxic soup during the Gulf War. The fine sand itself and breathing it in and the damage fine silica sand can cause to lungs and breathing. The oil smoke, and the myriad chemicals in it such as benzene. This likely was the result of many reports from veterans wives of burning semen after the war. Depleted Uranium, which the Pentagon claimed could be eaten like a candy bar, but would be expelled from the body… Read more »
Warhorse
91 Vet, we are a dying breed. Mortality rate for Shield/Storm vets is much higher than as compared to Vietnam, Korea and WW2. Coverups abound with this illness, from big oil, you’re welcome for saving your bottom line, big pharma, you’re welcome for using us as test subjects to test vaccines and pills on, chemical companies, yes, your nerve agents do work, and the industrial military complex, yes there are still young men and women who still buy into the… Read more »
Lem
Warhorse, PA VAROs seem to be very dysfunctional. My appeal was held for 3 years before I finally got an attorney by the Pittsburg VARO DRO and another 4 years after I got the attorney. Nothing was ever done by the Pittsburg DRO and my attorney couldn’t even get a copy of my file because I was listed as a “sensitivity 7” and the sensitivity 7 officer who was the only one who could look at my file wouldn’t respond… Read more »
Warhorse

Lem, I did secure an attorney 3 years ago. Unfortunately the Philly RO I believe has misfiled claims, destroyed claims and appeals all the while being at the forefront of the Reuben’s “bull dike” scandle. As far as congressional or help from a senator, Sen. Casey is fucking worthless, he’s still weeping over Killarys loss. My congressmen is Lou Barletta, a republican, again, fucking worthless.

Lem

Ask your attorney where you should go to get better representation from Congress and a responsive VARO. Hopefully he has some experience other than just your area.

I just happened to go home to Wyoming and thus got my file out of the hands of Pennsylvania politics. As in Screw the veterans.

Lem

Don’t expect your VSO representative to be much help unless you clearly have one that helps by writing your congressman for assistance. Mostly they knuckle to the VARO director in order to keep their pay check coming.

91Veteran

Correct on all warhorse. As I commented here before, the VA denied mine for almost 7 years until I testified before congress.

After that, they approved it in a week.

It had already been denied 3 times.

OLDMARINE
Timothy L Coffey….they pass it to their children, And their wife, You are absolutely right, Their is a certain type of blood test or a bone biopsy they do to find it,Agent orange also…I’m going to find out what it is. My neighbors friend’s wife had it done at the VA before he died. I bet that test would find all the chemical exposures….And the VA rat’s know about it..Who’s deceiving who VA… AND WHEN I FIND OUT WHAT IT’S… Read more »
Timothy L Coffey
By the way, I was in Hawaii, which was one of the worse, since all the wars that worked out of Hawaii, that water was total crap before 1986, anyone who was there is probably sick or dead now. And the British introduce TCE to us, so it was used in Dry cleaning, and weapons cleaning, If anyone remembers getting your parts dunked or weapon dunked, it meant that it went to main armory to be dunked in TCE, sent… Read more »
NiteWish
Timothy L Coffey, ohmy, my family & I drank that water in Pearl Harbor Hawaii for 5yrs before 1986. I was also warned never fall in the water, you’ll get 21 shots to combat the contamination. At one point I thought something WAS wrong with the housing water & I brought a sample on the ship to be tested, was told it was fine. Another lie[?]. Where the ship filters able to filter it out? In my Town our wells… Read more »
OLDMARINE
Do we think VA really cares about getting it right for any and all veteran disability claims?…HELL NO you got that right BEN I went to that outside doctor with the bullet proof glass in his lobby ….He gave me a good C&P exam to bad the VA didn’t supply all the evidence, so who is deceiving who VA, I know your reading this SHIT. Than I get one from the VA examiner for the same thing, nothing thorough about… Read more »
namnibor
As long as the VA remains brazen in having likes of BVA Thomas Agent Orange Denier Murphy at the helm of the V.A. Titanic, cover-up, deny, and wait for us all to die…will continue. Maybe, just maybe, the USA should send each and everyone of those engorged AFGE Purple Teams on a permanent mobility exercise to Syria for a little on the job training. Make sure they are air-dropped immediately after the release of chemical agents…oh…the really important part of… Read more »
touchavet@gmail.com

how does a human go to war and not bring back residuals from such an endeavor

Raider 2-6

Same same for TDIU for this class of Veterans.

Methinks it will take a disGRUNTled VA employee to come forward with the smoking memo on this and other claims issues to expose these clowns for who they really are.

Until this coven of jerkweeds are sprayed with Roundup and sent to the unemployment office this mistreatment of veterans will continue.

GarryOwen!

Matthew A Adams

Thank you for covering this Ben. I’m a veteran and also works at the VA and I hear the same thing from other veterans

Crazy elf
1.) @Mathew, What are you doing, as a VHA employee, to help veterans with the MANY problems you see, (regarding statements made by veterans)? Have you considered turning “whistleblower”? If not, Why not? I’m not trying to be rude in these questions. 2.) I believe the veteran is first being misdiagnosed by VHA physicians, physicians Assistants, nurses etc.! Thats where the problems start. Try getting a VHA (alleged) healthcare professional to diagnose anyone with a “War Time Injury”! Whether it… Read more »
James Gallegos

Your right it’s time veterans working for the va, should be outraged with what is happening and turn whistle blowers.

If they don’t they are just as guilty of the cover ups and their oath they took means nothing.

You know they had to take another oath when they were hired and not an oath to their supervisor.

Lem

Not surprised. 100% of cerebral malaria claims rejected since the beginning of time.

Crazy elf

@Lem,
Yea, you got that right!
I caught malaria while in Nam. To this day I’m NOT allowed to give blood on any “blood drive!”
Yet, hey, does the VA gives a shit? Not one bit!

Lem

Did you have p. falciparum or vivax? Did you get the ice shower? Any amnesia?

I need a p. falciparum malaria victim with residuals of organic brain damage, similar to a TBI but more difficult to diagnose because the damage is generally global, to join me in my SF-95 tort claim before December of 2019.

Crazy elf

@Lem,
Since I’m not familiar with those terms you’re using, I’m going to have to say “NO!” to your question.
I don’t remember what the army medical did to ‘cure’ me, IF I was cured?!?!
I guess I’ve still got that “bug” in me, IF, and since, I’m NOT allowed to give blood!
I know that’s not much help! It’s been almost 50 years since I contracted the bug, so it’s hard to remember what took place at medical that many years ago!

Lem
If you still have the bug it is Vivax. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t have a dual infection (both at once). You can get a copy of your personnel record from the Personnel Records Center. On the record of service stations will be the record of dates and facility you were treated at. Get a copy of the inpatient record then from the Personnel Records Center. They were not involved in the fire. And there is an archived copy… Read more »
touchavet@gmail.com

I’m in the same boat. Mine was called “Fever of unknown origin”. It manifested itself the same a malaria. Unable to give blood and cause all sort of reproductive problems for years after. Could very well be the problem I’m experiencing with my heart.

cj
@Crazy elf: If even remotely possible, I would jump on that with Lem, he knows his chit!!! You say you had Malaria, but you just don’t remember, since it was so long ago. You also are NOT ALLOWED to give blood, there must be a reason why not. I think Lem said in an earlier post, something about them intentionally altering your medical treatment, for the treatment of Malaria. I believe this in it self is a felony. Correct me… Read more »
cj

@Crazy elf: After re reading what I posted, it kind of reads like I am trying to tell you what to do, I am not, nor would I ever, tell you what to do, Sorry it if it comes across that way. Certainly was not my intention.

Later Gators.

Crazy elf

@”cj”
Don’t worry brother! I never took it that way.
I might just join “Lem” in that suit. Hey, it’s better knowing than NOT knowing what the Army did to me that many years ago!

Dave F.

The VA rejects the majority of all claims, not just Gulf War claims. They are not in existence to provide care and treatment for Veterans, they are in existence to suck money up and provide companies with a revenue stream so that they can pay senators and congressmen millions of dollars of contributions.

Dennis
When I get elected POTUS here is what I would do; I would take the most senior 50% of all people working at VBA and transfer them into a different cabinet post set up purely for vet advocacy and under an entirely different chain of command than VA. The 50% would include ALL advocacy services presently offered within VA at any level. The VA mission, both VBA and VHA would remain unchanged simply because VA has demonstrated a legendary tenacity… Read more »
namnibor
@Dennis- Sounds GREAT…but you must devise a method from the start to then prevent these same hacks cherry-picking veteran claim files and ONLY going after the potential high $$$ claims and then leaving the “lessor claim$” untouched. Not finding critical fault with your plan, just see immediately how the engorged purple teams would scam that system as well. Human and VA Greed knows absolutely no limits and we must use methods accordingly to keep their ratty-claws from cherry-picking claim$ and… Read more »
Vassilis Margaris

That is a good one ! Ben, and I like Her name “Farisee”! I guess goes with her actions!
MSG VAM

namnibor

I also appreciated the grammatical/historical irony of her name of “Farisee”.

“Pharisee”: 2.

(lowercase) a sanctimonious, self-righteous, or hypocritical person. 🙂

namnibor

Not to be confused with your average asshole.

Tom
I also want to point out that in the past GERD claims were denied by the VA based solely on upper GI barium swallow tests ordered by C&P Examiners. I encountered this when I first filed a GERD claim after having been diagnosed and treated in service. The claim was denied solely on the upper GI test because the results were “negative.” It was not until my private gastro doctor told me that upper GI barium tests cannot detect GERD,… Read more »
Tom
Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that the DOD and VHA published GERD Clinical Practice Guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of GERD in March 2003. There is a section on barium diagnostic tests in the CPGs. I find it hard to believe that C&P Examiners were unaware of the test being discredited as a screening test for GERD. However, they frequently referred to “negative” test results as the reason a veteran does not have GERD. Error rate… Read more »
J.Klapper
Agent Orange redux. I would THINK, not being a lawyer, and even if I were disagreements of this nature are why there is an appellate system, but I would think that a piss off enough for being pissed on Veteran could massage the Bivens Ruling (1971), or what of it still stands since it’s a post-national security issue we are talking about, to go after the VA employees and sub-contractors DIRECTLY for defrauding or attempting to defraud the veteran of… Read more »
James Gallegos

Good advice tks

Jo3n

Just checked the, “Bivins Rule.” Over the years it’s been changed. I can’t seem to find anything recent, other than lower courts aren’t allowed to interpret the Rule. IT sounded good in the beginning. I’ve been waiting 17years for my first hearing. Wish there was a law to do hearings in a timely manner. Good article Ben..

ANutterVet

No slack for VA employees, no matter if they’re a Veteran or not. They’ve got to serve someone, and it isn’t you nor me. VA employees serve themselves. No waivers. Fuck you VA.

Jo3n

If, the existing laws, or screwed with laws, of which many are good, aren’t secretly fucked with, we could do something. We need to know who’s introduced these changes and find out why.

Joe Veteran
There is no one in the VA system (except for maybe a couple of doctors), or in our government, that is willing to help, I found that out the hard-way, meanwhile I can thank God for my social security which keeps my family from being homeless once more, while I am stuck at home taking morphine 4X daily along with 20 other medications, while using a cane. walker, and or wheel chair (depending on my pain level) just to get… Read more »
OLDMARINE

Joe Veteran …YOUR RIGHT

Jose Velazquez

VA denied 80% of disability claims filed by Gulf War veterans.
Wonder why sometimes I feel like I was better off KIA, than to deal w/this BS

cj

@Jose Velazquez; I know what you mean Jose, but nobody here thinks you were better off, We kinda like you living, and fighting these rat bastards with us.

james gallegos
jose, don’t get mad get even. Join us ! Many of us have had problems with the VA. If you like share your story, many veterans have found out that others went through the same thing. You have some veterans on here that give good advise and Ben has written many stories about the VA and I believe that we on this site have had people take our advise and has helped change the VA in a small way. One… Read more »
ThisVet2017

If I said it once, I’ll say it a million times. The VA hires rude and inept employees INTENTIONALLY – in order to frustrate veterans and deter veterans from seeking benefits and health care.

Raider 2-6
When that has happened to me, I run it right up to the Hospital Director. I refuse to be treated poorly and am not intimidated! The rude ones fortunately few in my experience usually get their come uppance. I had an eye doctor once dilate my eyes twice and then left for the day without doing the exam. My complaint was the final straw and he “retired.” Some Patient Advocates are not very helpful either which is very sad because… Read more »
91Veteran

R 2-6, starting at the top locally is helpful, but those at the top locally need to know you will not stop going higher, to whatever level needed.

Which is the reason my director now responds to my emails, usually within a day.

James Gallegos
The top is Shulkin. ! Will see if he means it about holding employees accountable. Pretty 👎 when the chief of staff and the director covers up for an employee that is harming a veteran and they know they did so and that’s the VA way. ! Collected 14 year’s of evidence to prove my case. Some veterans stand up for themselves some are so disabled or older veterans that get the brunt of the employee anger. When your right,… Read more »
Raider 2-6

Addendum:

I send it to the Director of the Battle Creek Hospital. She supervises BC, Grand Rapids, Muskegon. Although, she is currently in Ann Arbor working on their issues.

She personifies – “I Care.”

Generally I get a response from her within hours. She even responded once while on vacation.

Shulkin wouldn’t get involved even if there was a way to contact him. He’s a shill for the Administration!

James Gallegos

I wrote jus office in Washington. The employee committed a class 6 felony of criminal libel.

I’m glad u ran into someone who was willing to help, seems those are few and far between.

I know that he won’t handle the case himself, but they can not say they knew nothing about it.

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