VA Eligibility:Sciatica and Related Nerve Issues | 3 Ratings
At Blue Cord Patriots, we are passionate about serving those who have served and protected our country. We guide veterans through the process of obtaining VA Benefits and provide educational resources, mentoring, and support. This includes the Sciatica VA rating.
We notice many veterans are unaware of conditions that classify as a VA disability. This means the veterans do not receive the full compensation they deserve.
What is a VA rating?
VA rating determine the benefits and compensation the veteran receives for a medical condition that either:
a) occurred as a result of your time in military service, or
b) was aggravated or worsened during service.
The veteran receives a VA rating dictating how much compensation the veteran receives. The rating is given as a percentage and considers how the disability impacts the veterans life. The condition decreases your health and overall ability level. The higher the percentage, the more compensation the veteran receives. For example, a veteran with a rating of 10% receives a monthly payment of $165.92 (2023). Learn more about this in VA disability rates in 2023 page.
Can you get VA disability for a Sciatica VA rating?
Thousands of veterans across the country receive a sciatica diagnosis following their time in service. While the severity of the condition may impact their sciatica VA rating, it is possible to receive financial support following a diagnosis. This severity includes mild discomfort to severe pain and loss of mobility.
As a result, if you’ve been questioning ‘Is sciatica a VA disability?’, the answer is “YES”.
The Sciatica VA Disability Rating is:
The sciatic nerve VA rating varies on a patient-by-patient basis. However, the diagnosis falls into one of three categories as covered in 38 CFR 4.124a:
- Paralysis: Refers to complete or incomplete nerve damage causing weakness and dysfunction to the lower back, leg, and knee muscle groups. First, complete paralysis accompanies a sciatica VA rating of 80%. Second, incomplete paralysis provides a VA rating ranging from mild (10%), moderate (20%), moderately severe (40%). Lastly, severe with marked muscle atrophy rates at 60%.
- Neuritis: Refers to nerve damage causing a loss of sensation, resulting in muscle atrophy, loss of movement, and reduced reflexes. If severe, veterans receive a sciatica VA rating of 60%.
- Neuralgia: Refers to moderate and severe pain in affected areas. Neuralgia impacts muscle strength and limb function.
By comparison, Neuritis and Neuralgia are added codes to the sciatic rating. Individually, this rates the nerve in the same way as paralysis (mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe with marked atrophy-incomplete paralysis).
What are the signs I may have Sciatica?
Did you know that veterans are 32% more likely to have back pain than non-veterans?
Nerve damage occurs when the sciatic nerve is damaged after some form of back injury. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve within the body. The nerve starts in the lower back region and moves down both legs. Complications arising from damage to this nerve can be far-reaching. Therefore, it is considered a VA disability.
Common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Pain in the lower back and legs
- Often described as ‘sharp’ or ‘jolting’
- Numbness/loss of sensation in affected areas
- Lower back, legs, buttocks
- Loss of mobility and in severe cases: paralysis
- Burning or tingling sensation in affected areas
- Reduction of limb function
Some people with sciatica experience constant symptoms. Others deal with the symptoms intermittently. Moving or sitting still for too long causes pain. Sciatica can also cause sleep issues if left untreated.
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
To submit a successful application for any kind of VA disability, you must have a formal diagnosis of the condition from a licensed medical professional. Therefore, it may be time to reach out to your doctor.
You must also strategize and do the correct process for a new, increase, supplemental or higher level review.
During the initial appointment, the discussions will include questions like: “How you are feeling?”. You should give thorough and in-depth insights into your symptoms and medical history. It is helpful to note essential details ahead of time. Examples are: frequency and prevalence of symptoms and activities that make the condition worse. If you suffer from any injury that triggers sciatica from your time in service; such as, a back injury or strain, you should also mention this to your doctor.
Once you discuss your symptoms with your physician, they will perform an exam. This exam assess the functionality of the sciatic nerve. They focus primarily on determining the range of motion. They also observe posture, and will request that you perform specific stretches and movements. This work also extends into your knees and lower legs.
Additionally, the doctor can perform a conductive nerve study. This further evaluates the transfer of function from the nerve to the brain. Some patients receive pain-reducing medications and/or steroid injections. Others try out Physical Therapy (PT) or Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy and PT both help alleviate the symptoms of inflammation and increasing range of motion. In some cases, surgical intervention is offered or required.
How can I apply for VA disability for Sciatica?
We are on hand to help veterans secure the VA ratings they seek. We ensure the veterans receive the compensation and support they deserve. After all, the application process is complicated and time-consuming. Especially if you have little experience handling the appropriate paperwork.
How do I get help with understanding how to file with the VA for Sciatica?
Our approach aims to educate the veteran on the entire process. Ensuring the veteran understands the criteria to ensure a maximum rating is very important. A small mistake in the veterans application could drastically reduce the disability percentage.
Our one-on-one sessions simplifies the application and overall VA claims process. The veteran also gains confidence when submitting any future claims.
To learn more or to start the process, do not hesitate to get in touch today. Since 2019, the Blue Cord Patriots helped hundreds of veterans receive the compensation they deserve.