Gulf War veteran wins test appeal

An ex-soldier has won a "landmark decision" to be awarded a disability pension for Gulf War Syndrome (GWS).

The Pensions Appeal Tribunal (PAT) said GWS could be used as an "umbrella term" to cover the ailments suffered by Daniel Martin.

Former guardsman Mr Martin, 35, suffers from memory problems, asthma and anxiety.

The case of Mr Martin, of Luton, Bedfordshire, could help hundreds of ex-servicemen.

Solicitor Mark McGhee, of Linder Myers solicitors, who represented Mr Martin at the tribunal, said: "This is a landmark ruling.

"It is the definitive case on Gulf War Syndrome to date. Daniel stuck to his guns and has been vindicated, and this is going to have massive implications for hundreds of Gulf War veterans, who clearly suffer from Gulf War Syndrome."

The National Gulf Veterans and Families Association said that of the 7,500 veterans who have made a claim for a disablement pension, 1,500 have claimed GWS, and only two cases had been heard so far.

The tribunal, which hears appeals from ex-service staff who have had their claims for a war pension rejected by the secretary of state for defence, agreed with Lord Lloyd's previous inquiry in 2003.

That found that "veterans of the Gulf War later developed an excess of symptomatic ill-health over and above that to be expected in the normal course of events" and "there is a Gulf War health effect".

The tribunal said: "The term Gulf War Syndrome is the appropriate medical label to be attached to this excess of symptoms and a useful umbrella for that label.

"It is highly regrettable that there was such a delay in the Ministry of Defence accepting this approach."

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