Veterans with military service in the Southwest Asia Theatre of Operations have been plagued by a variety of chronic medical conditions. Collectively known as Gulf War Syndrome or Gulf War Illness, it has affected an untold numbers of Veterans. As a result, the Persian Gulf War Act was passed in 1994 to help Veterans with chronic disabilities resulting from certain medical conditions, so long as the condition manifested during active service in the Southwest Asia Theatre of Operations or became disabling to a degree of 10 percent or more within one year of leaving active service. Although the presumptive period originally ended December 31, 2021, the VA has extended the presumptive period to December 31, 2026 due to ongoing military operations and an increasing understanding of the health risks faced by Veterans serving in Southwest Asia Theatre of Operations,

Medical conditions on the VA list of Gulf War presumptive conditions include myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, functional gastrointestinal disorders, asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, and undiagnosed illnesses. This allows Veterans filing a claim for one of these conditions to do so without the burden of having to prove their condition is related to their service so long as the Veteran served in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War from September 19, 2001 to the present, or the Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2, 1990 to the present.