To qualify for this presumptive service connection, the fibromyalgia must have developed while serving in the Southwest Asia Theater of military operations or by December 31, 2016. In addition, it must be 10 percent disabling.
If you served in the Gulf War and have developed fibromyalgia since then, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Fibromyalgia VA ratings and benefits work differently than those for other illnesses.
Gulf War veterans who develop fibromyalgia don’t have to prove a connection between their illness and service to receive this compensation. Rather, the VA will assume that unexplained symptoms are associated with Gulf War service if they persist for six months or more.
Fibromyalgia: What Is It?
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread, unexplained pain that lasts for more than three months. Stress, infections, and repetitive injuries have all been linked to fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain in muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues, along with so-called “tender points” that hurt when pressure is applied.
VA Ratings For Fibromyalgia
The diagnosis code for fibromyalgia is 5025. To be classified under this code, the condition must be evaluated and diagnosed by a rheumatologist. Additionally, the pain must be present on both sides of the body as well as above and below the waist to qualify under this code. Veterans with fibromyalgia will receive a 10%, 20%, or 40% rating if they have widespread musculoskeletal pain and tender points, fatigue, sleep disturbance, stiffness, paresthesias, headache, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, depression, anxiety, or Raynaud’s phenomenon.
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