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        The Gulf War Veterans Information System - GWVIS

               Overview ( from the GWVIS reports itself )

      The Gulf War Veterans Information System (GWVIS) provides the best
      available current data identifying the 6.5 million Gulf War service
      member population. The GWVIS reports monitor, in part, the service
      members’ use of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare and
      disability benefits.GWVIS reports are distributed each quarter during
      the following months: March, June, September, and December.
      In 1997, VA’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Preparedness, working
      with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the Veterans Health
      Administration (VHA), and other VA organizational elements, created
      the GWVIS reports to identify Gulf War service members and monitor,
      in part, their VBA compensation and pension benefit use.

      VBA works to enhance GWVIS reports with several governmental
      partners, including: Department of Defense’s Defense Manpower Data
      Center (DMDC) and Deployment Health Support Directorate (DHSD),
      VHA, VA’s Office of Policy, Planning and Preparedness, VA’s Office of
      the General Counsel, VA’s Readjustment Counseling Service (RCS),
      and VBA’s Compensation and Pension Service (C&P Service).
      GWVIS reports are consistent with the “Veterans Health Care Act of
      1992” (Public Law 102-585) in identifying Gulf War service members
      and reporting on various aspects of their VA healthcare and benefit

        Making Numbers Count:
        Gulf War Veterans Information System
        By: Willie Alexander, Board of Veterans' Appeals

      The Board of Veterans’ Appeals is a participant in the development
      of the Department’s Gulf War Veterans Information System (GWVIS),
      a multifunctional, relational database intended to serve as a source
      of data and information concerning Gulf War Veterans. The GWVIS
      is designed to consolidate data from existing VA, BVA, VHA, and VBA
      information systems into a single source of information about Gulf
      War veterans, including health and disability matters.

              Historically, claims numbers (C-numbers) have served as the key
      database field for locating records contained in the Veterans’ Appeals
      Control and Locator System (VACOLS), BVA’s primary business
      application. However, a Social Security Number (SSN) data field
      was added to VACOLS in FY 1996 as part of the joint development
      by BVA and VBA of a single appeals tracking system that combines
      data elements from each organization’s formerly independent appeals
             tracking system.
             To identify VACOLS records pertaining to Gulf War veterans, identified
      by SSN in a listing provided by the Defense Manpower Data Center,
      SSNs had to be found and associated with approximately 300,000
      VACOLS records created prior to the FY 1996 appeal tracking system
      consolidation. This daunting task was quickly accomplished with the
      aid of the Austin Automation Center (AAC) Master Veteran Record
      (MVR) team. The AAC was able to match all but a few thousand of
      the 300,00 VACOLS records provided by the Board and, using its
      MVR software, export the numbers to BVA’s file. As a result of this
      creative solution, the VACOLS database is now more complete than
      ever, and the Board is able to identify appeals filed by Persian Gulf
      War veterans and provide meaningful data and information to the

Sent TO VA ACGWV committee:
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 9:55 PM

Subject: Dramatic difference in GWVIS numbers

Dear Committee Members
I go way back on the GWVIS, and was the first one
to publish it on the net - November 2002. I scanned it and put
in in pdf. Over the years the RAC would get them but they
only published the current one. They did not keep a archive
in the documents section of there website. Last year VBA
finally posted it on there website, but only back to December
2005. So you cant find 2002 to late 2005. That is 9 reports
that are not available on the net.
So I have many of the GWVIS reports back to 2002. Which is
how I am able to plug some of these numbers below for what I am
showing you. I did just some to keep this short, not all.
At this point I took just one category from each report to break
it down into a spreadsheet. Just the "Conflict" by itself. The data
is derived from DMDC then sent to VA before its tabulated. This
is where the problem comes in as the data varies instead of being
static values.
Now we have a lengthy delay getting the May 2008 and August
2008 reports. There was a problem with the numbers making it
through concurrence. That delayed its release.
If you look at the last 2 categories you see August 2008 subtracted
from February 2008. There are some very odd changes.
"Claims filed" dropped 31,878. "Claims Processed" dropped 33,780.
"Estimated living veterans" from the supposedly static "Conflict" value 
goes up 57,215 over 6 years.and so on....
You take "Estimated Living Veterans" August 2008 and subtract
that from the static "Service members" and you get 67,000. The
mystery number of those that are "Not" living? That number was
124,499 in 2002. A very large variance in a category wherein its
claimed that 15,233 died, leaving 51,767 uncounted veterans in the
2008 numbers.
The GWVIS reports, especially this last one to me are suspicious
in nature. I don't think the DMDC can be trusted to provide solid
numbers for us in this year. I for one believe we need a separate
source other than the DMDC to confirm current 90-91 Gulf War
conflict statistical data. I don't like that "Static" numbers can be
fudged without explanation or oversight.
The same problem exist with internal WRIISC and Gulf War Registry
data at VA Environmental Agents. Of which I have collected these
many years.
Well, I think there is a problem here. Just throwing this out to
you as a discussion piece.
                                                                Kirt P. Love

Conflict Category Nov-02 Nov-04 Aug-06 Aug-07 Feb-08 Aug-08 Sum Total Feb 08 to Aug 08
Service Members 696,842 696,841 696,842 696,842 696,842 696,842  
Veteran Deaths 8,551 10,581 12,580 13,816 14,456 15,233 777
Estimated Living Veterans 572,343 596,787 613,526 621,230 626,942 629,558 2,616
Claims Filed 211,194 239,866 271,192 278,149 290,195 258,317 -31,878
Claims Processed 188,657 213,291 236,293 238,931 250,897 217,117 -33,780
C&P Benefit Granted ( not listed ) ( not listed ) 207,148 209,697 221,960 192,411 -29,549
Claims Granted Service Connection 163,989 185,501 205,911 208,337 220,541 191,971 -28,570
Claims Denied Service Connection 24,668 27,790 30,382 30,594 30,356 25,146 -5,210
Claims Pending 22,537 26,575 34,899 39,218 39,298 41,200 1,902
Service-Connected (10%) or Greater, 116,559 136,494 155,768 160,461 171,237 146,767 -24,470
Service-Connected Zero Percent (0%), 3,440 3,392 3,327 3,244 3,356 3,607 251
Service-Connected Ten Percent (10%), No 3,739 5,149 6,182 4,791 5,498 5,863 365
Service-Connected Zero Percent (0%), No 40,251 40,466 40,634 39,841 40,450 35,734 -4,716
Non-Service Connected, Receiving Pension 619 966 1,237 1,360 1,419 440 -979
Non-Service Connected, No Pension 24,049 26,824 29,145 29,234 28,937 24,706 -4,23