Those with cervical radiculopathy will be rated within the upper radicular group, middle radicular group, and lower radicular group which include the musculospiral nerve, median nerve, axillary nerve, the musculocutaneous nerve, the long thoracic nerve, and the ulnar nerve. Maybe You Want the VA to Deny Your Radiculopathy Claim! Copy this embed code to share the infographic on your own site. Hear from fellow Veterans just like you, with many of our Veteran Success Managers having gone through our programs. Brian Reeseis a VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits Youve Earned, andfounder of VA Claims InsiderThe Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.. Contactour office for a free case evaluation today at800-544-9144. suffering from Sciatica include: When one is suffering from sciatica, one Sciatica is usually diagnosed after a Click HERE to read now. Here at Woods and Woods VA Disability Lawyers, weve been helping veterans gain the VA rating they deserve for years and we have the skill and experience to help you gain the support you need. The degree of severity, represented by a percentage, corresponds to the monthly compensation a vet receives. Veterans may be able to claim not only service-connected disability benefits but also secondary service-connection that the Department of Veterans Affairs might have missed. These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make to give you better functionality and personal features. the knee doesnt have to be impossible to rate as complete paralysis of the Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exams for Radiculopathy, Evidence for Radiculopathy Claims and Appealing under the AMA system. Sign up for our weekly email newsletter to stay updated on VA news, policy changes, and more. The general minimum for undiagnosed back pain veterans disability benefits is 10%. 3,087 62. . Can My Disability Rating Be Reduced By The VA? also be made much worse after sneezing or when one makes unexpected movements If your mom remembers a before and after, have her talk to our staff to write up a lay statement to back your case. These cookies do not store any personal information. The typical symptoms of a radicular condition depend on the location of the affected nerves. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); They have shown me nothing but professionalism and quick responsiveness to any situation. Otherwise, the denial stands. along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back Even if you have this, it often takes a long time for the doctors to rule out everything else and give you this diagnosis. These terms, which the rating schedule uses, are highly subjective and vaguely defined. If a nerve condition affects both sides of the body (such as both pairs of arms or legs), the VA should issue a rating foreach side and anadditionalbilateral factor. Lumbar radiculopathy is irritation or inflammation of a nerve root in the low back. To understand this condition, it helps to understand the parts of the spine: Vertebrae. The VA may award service-connected disability benefits for conditions that arose before the time of active duty but worsened during it. Theyll also check the reflexes in your knees, as well as your nerves. The location of your symptoms, the Radiculopathy is a broad diagnosis for the symptoms from a pinched nerve root at the spinal column base. Sign up for our weekly email newsletter to stay updated on VA news, policy changes, and more. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant advertisements on other websites. You've just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. Please complete this form to send us your message. You are not alone! These cookies are also used to let affiliates know if you came to one of our websites from an affiliate and if your visit resulted in the use or purchase of a product or service from us, including details of the product or service purchased. Those suffering from sciatica will experience pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve which travels from the lower back down through the legs. A doctors physical exam and electromyogram (EMG) that confirms a radicular condition serve as bases for ratings. The nice thing about this is that while you only have one back, you can get multiple ratings for a left leg and a right leg which can then be combined into a greater rating. Every case is different, so please contact our certified team. This website adheres to the W3Cs AA Accessibility guidelines. These cookies dont collect information that identifies you. Thoracic radiculopathy occurs when a nerve in the upper back is pinched, and people may experience pain in their chest or torso area. causes moderate symptoms, it is rated 20%. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Service Connection by Aggravation: What If You Were Diagnosed With Radiculopathy Before Service? Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation: Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income? They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. Sciatica itself actually refers to a symptom rather than a specific disease. Back injuries and musculoskeletal injuries can result in sciatica, which is quite common for military veterans. It is possible to prove service-connection for radiculopathy. also known as sciatica, is not exclusive to one type of injury or condition. The Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) regulates appeals for denials. Developed new symptoms? Often, those who experience sciatica have dull back pain and a sensation of an electrical current zapping them in their legs. The doctor cant feel what you are feeling. njured, dislocated, or affected by arthritis. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. The veteran has constant, severe pain in his lower back because of the radiculopathy affecting his ability to function on a daily basis. Use our VA disability calculator to estimate your combined VA rating and monthly payment. Sciatica is extreme pain that radiates As we mentioned earlier, sciatica is caused by the irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine, which can result from several physical activities. Woods and Woods, LLC, Veterans Disability Lawyer, Veterans Disability Benefits Attorneys Helping Veterans Nationwide, Published on October 10, 2019 by Neil Woods Last Updated on December 30, 2022. Took a whole 10-15 min. than moderate, even if it is considered severe. This data may be used to help optimize our websites and make them easier for you to navigate. If you tough it out and move a little extra, you can keep going on that patrol in Iraq. Dear Veteran, Heres the brutal truth about VA disability claims: According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA. All Rights Reserved. Back pain can be established as a service-connected disability, but did you know there are specific conditions like radiculopathy that can get you a higher VA rating? When it comes to requesting benefits from the VA, sciatic nerve conditions such as sciatica are ranked in three different categories established on the degree of severity of symptoms. This condition is commonly caused byback conditionssuch as herniated discs, stenosis, and bone spurs. The thoracic area is in the middle down to your lower back. This benefit compensates veterans at the 100 percent level, even if their combined disability rating does not equal 100 percent. Many veterans are in Nerve damage is a huge concern for millions of veterans. As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and Im on a mission to change it. While not all of these are exclusive back pains, they can all point to conditions in the spine that would warrant a higher VA rating. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in Those with lumbar radiculopathy will be rated within the group of peripheral nerves of the low back and legs. Do You Need Help Determining Your Nerve Ratings? Here you bend over forward at the waist for one measurement. Symptoms of moderately severe, moderate, and mild sciatic neuritis can be given a range of ratings including 40, 20, and 10 percent. Heres a tip: after checking where youd be ranked under sciatica code, check whether you have limited motion of your hip, knee, or ankle. If it causes moderately severe symptoms, it is rated 40%. In fact, over two million veterans suffer from nerve damage. I have my medical files and here is the following: Radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve, can cause major discomfort and problems with a range of motion during everyday activities. percent is assigned. motion, your balance and posture will be considered. 20%. Each one of these areas connects nerves from your brain to all over your body. This could help you gain a higher rating. They may also be used to keep track of what [products, video, links, etc.] Radiculopathy is a common service-connected disability caused by a pinched nerve root in either the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine. VA outlines TDIU regulations under 38 CFR 4.16. For sciatica, for example, in radiculopathy of the lower back, the VA appliesrating criteriaspecific to the sciatic nerve (diagnostic code 8720), and assigns a disability percent rating on whether the neuralgia is moderate or mild. In your physical exam, a health professional will look at your spinal range of motion, your balance, and posture. Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve is pinched or pushed on from a disc. If you think you injured yourself during your time in service, try to make some notes. Lumbar Radiculopathy. . Sometimes, there is little to no back pain with radiculopathy. Common examples of back problems that cause sciatica include spinal stenosis ordisc herniations. Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice. There are several common symptoms of sciatica. Below we're sharing the VA range of motion chart used to rate back . The call and the advice we give you on that call are all free. Fill out the short form below to contact us. Sciatica refers to pain that links to a problem with the sciatic nerve. Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider. Radiculopathy falls under the larger umbrella of neuropathy, which deals with general nerve damage. Once the history of your sciatica has been Two or more service-connected conditions, one of which is rated at 40 percent or higher, with a combined rating of 70 percent or higher. Symptoms of radiculopathy include radiation of pain from the lower back down into the legs, often described as a sharp-shooting, electric pain. Deland, FL: 1607 South State Road 15A Suite 12 Deland, FL 32720, Satellite Offices If your Sciatic nerve causes your foot to drop and impairs your walking and you cant lift your knee, you might get up to an 80% rating. This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month. Finally, we invite you to contact us and we welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. While one veteran may have specific symptoms, and the Regional Office finds that they have moderate sciatica, another veteran could have those very same symptoms and be judged as having mild sciatica. If it They are not intended as a guarantee that we will obtain the same or similar results in every case we undertake. What is service connection through aggravation, and can it apply to radiculopathy? VA rates sciatica under38 CFR 4.124a, Schedule of ratings neurological conditions and convulsive disorders, as follows: Importantly, there is no disability rating for severe neuralgia. Its FREE to get started, so click Go Elite Now below to complete our 3-step intake process. However, in rare circumstances, veterans can experience bilateral sciatica. These are bones that stack to form the spine. This was to add SC and rating for my left leg. When there is pressure on a nerve in the neck, a veteran can experience radiculopathy in their shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. If you think you may have Sciatica, but have never been to your doctor, pick up the phone and call the VA nearest you to book an appointment. Do You Qualify for Long Term Disability Benefits? The highest rating given for neuralgia is It causes pain, burning, and numbness all the way from your butt down to your toes. Symptoms of tingling, numbness, and moderate to severe pain with intervention with the affected limbs functionality would be considered moderate neuralgia. So, start at the bottom and work your way up. If you think you may be suffering from sciatica, but youve never visited the doctor about it, pick up the phone and call the VA nearest to you to make an appointment. These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make to give you better functionality and preferences such as text size, fonts and other customizable website elements. Sciatica can affect both sides of the body. This information is not a substitute for legal advice. Sciatica is the pain that one experiences Since that time, we have provided compassionate Thoracic Radiculopathy Other key evidence may include a medical experts professional opinion that the service-connected condition (low back strain, for example) caused the radiculopathythus indicating a secondary service-connected disability. Examples of in-service incidents may include: Veterans do not necessarily need to trace their radiculopathy to one single active-duty incident. Tingling from the spinal area outward into the hips, legs, The cervical spine, conveying sensation to the neck and arm muscles, The thoracic or middle spine, conveying sensation to the chest, midsection, and ab muscles, Was noted in the service persons entrance examination, Got worse during the persons time of service, as shown by medical records such as a comparison of reports on the veterans disability before and during, or soon after, service, Worsened more in service than it would have worsened outside of service. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. For instance, which pages you go to most. When you visit web sites, they may store or retrieve data in your web browser. It can be stiffness or even sharp pain. Already working with us? Sciatica most often occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or pinched, typically by a herniated disk in the spine or an overgrowth of bone on the vertebrae. it can cause all the muscles below the leg and knee to stop working altogether. To prove service-connection for radiculopathy, a veteran must show a current medical diagnosis of radiculopathy that is linked to the in-service occurrence of the radiculopathy, or an in-service incident that caused or aggravated the radiculopathy. This nerve runs from the lower back through the hips and buttocks all the way down to the leg. Not all doctors know how VA disability applications work, so we have doctors on our staff to review your application before it goes to the VA. Our on-staff doctors know what the VA wants when it comes to granting benefits. sensation and severe loss of reflexes, your rating will be categorized under Then, file a disability claim for your medical issues. order to receive the compensation that you deserve. These diagnosed and service-connected disabilities can get you a higher rating. For veterans with radiculopathy who cannot work but are rated at less than 100 percent on the VA's schedular disability rating scale, a total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) rating would allow them to receive compensation at the highest level, even without a 100 percent total schedular . This could offer a veteran a 60 percent disability rating for their sciatic nerve condition. By continuing to use our website, you agree to these updates. Damage to one or more of these discs can cause compression to a nearby nerve root. To qualify for the next level up, you need to meet all the criteria of one category. Complete paralysis: If the foot drops (it Phoenix, AZ: One Renaissance Tower, Two North Center Avenue, 18th & 19th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004 It comes with symptoms like numbness in your hands and feet, a lack of flexibility, and even digestion or bowel issues. If accepted into our ELITE membership program, youll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time. Cervical radiculopathy is when a veteran has a pinched nerve in their neck. Instead, its a precise way of describing the location of the pain. Peripheral neuropathy manifests as weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands or feet. The primary cause of sciatica (present in about 90 percent of cases) is spinal disc herniation pressing on one of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots. A herniated disc in this region can cause pain that radiates down one or both arms. We are sorry that this post was not as useful for you! If you are suffering from bilateral Sciatica ratings are usually based on whether the sciatica is mild, moderate, moderately severe, or severe. Veterans with severe sciatica may require the assistance of canes, wheelchairs, or other assistive devices to walk. One of our VA disability lawyers talks about VA benefits for back pain. Symptoms including severe loss of reflexes, loss of sensation, muscle atrophy, and severely reduced movement can be considered severe neuritis. I suffer from many health issues due to the trauma that happened to me in 1980. Some patients may require more time to recover than others. Usually, radiculopathy does not require any major surgery. Which limbs are numb or paralyzed and to what extent is how the rating is given. Philadelphia, PA: 1 International Plaza, Suite 550, Philadelphia, PA, 19113 Veterans dont necessarily need to trace their radiculopathy to one single active-duty incident. These cookies do not store any personal information. You can look at all of these ratings in more detail by diagnostic code on 38 CFR 4.124a Schedule of ratings neurological conditions and convulsive disorders. This website adheres to the W3Cs AA Accessibility guidelines. For example, a veteran is service-connected for degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. The VA uses a general rating formula called the Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities to determine the specific percent rating. Feel free to call us at (866) 232-5777 anytime. When radiculopathy occurs in the lower back, it is known as lumbar radiculopathy, also referred to as sciatica because nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve are often involved. Movement can be restricted not only because of pain in your neck but moving a certain way can make you lose feeling in your hands. The VA can order a clarification from the examiner, or even order a new exam with a different examiner. The symptoms and location can vary, and the particular area and nerve affected can impact a veterans VA disability rating for radiculopathy. To be eligible for VA disability benefits for sciatica, you must first prove that your condition is the result of your time in the military service. Doctors look at your back in three sections. Again, point out any cracks or crunches that your joints make and let your doctor know if you cant make some of the movements because of pain. Some conditions involve hospitalization or consistent medical care, such as an at-home nurse, for example. A buddy statement can go a long way as we add it to your evidence. You bend side to side and then rotate at the hips for the final measurements. Secondary VA Claim Radiculopathy is a very important "secondary VA claim." In mild cases, symptoms but not significant impairments exist. Call our office today for a freecase evaluation. back problems that cause sciatica include spinal stenosis ordisc herniations, talk to our staff to write up a lay statement, Use our VA disability calculator to estimate your, sciatica may also be a secondary issue to other service-related conditions, Nervous System Conditions VA Disability Articles, Neurological issues VA disability articles, I have referred 16 veterans to this law firm, Pain, weakness, and numbness in the lower back, The highest level of pain when theyre sitting or standing, Difficulty standing up for long periods or walking for a long time, A worsened pain after sudden movements such as sneezing or coughing, An in-service situation or event that may have caused or contributed to your problem, A medical opinion linking the in-service situation or event to your sciatica condition (. CCK Recognized for Donations to American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial, CCK Successfully Argues for a Precedential Decision About Protected Work Environment, A Day in the Life of a Paralegal (Claims Advocate) at CCK. Box 449, Deland, FL 32721, Orlando, FL: 605 E. Robinson Street Suite 635, Orlando, FL 32801 Learn more about us, Veterans Disability Claim Learn About CCK's Partnership with DAV and Harvard Law School, - Learn About CCK's Partnership with DAV and Harvard Law School, Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve Diagnostic Code 8520, Neuritis of the Sciatic Nerve Diagnostic Code 8620, Neuralgia of the Sciatic Nerve Diagnostic Code 8720, Issues with the VA Rating System for Sciatica, Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick For Help with Your Sciatica Benefits, Sciatica VA Disability Claims and Ratings, Top 20 VA Disability Claims and Their Ratings, 10 Most Common Disabilities for Veterans and How Theyre Rated. If your back creaks or pops when you move it, you want the doctor to hear that. rated 60%. It doesn't matter what you call the disability, as long as VA knows what you are talking about. You can also the VA index using the wordsradiculopathyandratingsto find a current set of decisions on this question as they relate to your specific condition. If two exams record the diagnosis differently, then the exam with the most exhaustive data and performed by the most qualified professional in that sector will be the exam the rating is based on. How Do I Establish Service Connection for Sciatica? Refer to our disability calculator to figure out your estimated VA rating. If your claim for benefits for sciatic nerve issues was denied, or you believe your current rating is lower than deserved, consult with an accredited veterans representative to discuss your right to appeal. This occurs when a nerve in the lower portion of the back is pinched, and it can cause numbness and tingling in the hips and legs. Incomplete paralysis can be determined as severe, moderately severe, moderate, or mild with disability ratings as low as 10 percent. Click Go Elite Now below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes. So claiming "numbness and pain in my right leg" works as well as "radiculopathy" (in my right leg.) Medical images like x-rays can also be useful. You stated that you "had an EMG that showed no nerve damage." Perhaps your problem is not what you call the disability . Our certified VA Disability lawyer team works with doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists to work through your claim and make sure every inch is covered. Pittsburgh, PA: 201 Penn Center Boulevard, Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA, 15235 That said, veterans need to claim their back injury in a highly specific way. If the veteran has objective signs of impairment that can be found via testing, they will get only a moderate rating. The Sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and extends from the lower back through the hips and the buttocks, down each leg. I want to thank Woods & Woods for not letting me give up. sciatica, he or she may experience relief when lying down or when walking, Sciatica can also make it When sciatica is serious and severe, it can make life extremely difficult and uncomfortable. currently suffering from the condition. Without these cookies, services you have asked for cannot be provided. VA rates sciatica under 38 CFR 4.124a, Schedule of ratings - neurological conditions and convulsive disorders, as follows: Paralysis of the Sciatic Nerve - Diagnostic Code 8520 80% - complete paralysis in which all the muscles of the leg below the knee fail to work, causing serious difficulty in bending the knee The Easiest Ratings for Joint/Back Pain are Also the Lowest, Back Conditions that Get a Higher VA Disability Compensation, Pinched Nerves in the Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar Regions, The Lower Your Range of Motion the Higher Your Rating, How the VA Disability Rating for Radiculopathy Works. You may have another disability like diabetes or arthritis instead, so make sure you get a full physical from a doctor. I was already SC and rated 20% for my back and 10% for right leg sciatica. Additionally, a secondary disability claim can increase your benefits if a new condition arises from your current service-connected disability. You may be owed compensation. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. Learn how VA rates Veterans' nerve conditions and nerve damage (such as peripheral neuropathy, sciatica, radiculopathy, retinopathy) for disability benefits,. Use our VA disability calculator to estimate your combined VA rating and monthly payment. How to File a Claim on (step-by-step)! Vets who receive a mailed notice should attend the exam to avoid a claim being denied. Apr 27, 2011 #4. It causes symptoms that spread out from the back down 1 or both legs. This data may be used to help optimize our websites and make them easier for you to navigate. Radiculopathy VA Disability Ratings and Benefits, Learn About CCK's Partnership with DAV and Harvard Law School, - Learn About CCK's Partnership with DAV and Harvard Law School, nerve root in the spinal column is pinched and becomes inflamed, Secondary Service Connection for Radiculopathy, VA Ratings for Cervical and Lumbar Radiculopathy, Top 5 VA Errors on Veterans Disability Claims, Tingling from the spinal area outward into the hips, legs, shoulders, or arms, Breaking or dislocating a vertebra or suffering physical back strain while training, Was noted in the service persons entrance examination, Got worse during the persons time of service, as shown by medical records such as a comparison of reports on the veterans disability before and during, or soon after, service, Worsened more in service than it would have worsened outside of service. I had been fighting for my benefits since 1980 by myself and I managed to get 50% rating.