VA Disability Ratings for Nerve Damage

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Nerve damage, otherwise known as peripheral neuropathy, is a common condition that impacts veterans and is a consequence of various injuries, diseases or exposures to toxins during military service.

This article will provide information about various different types of nerve damage and how each is rated by the VA, along with the implications for additional benefits and connecting secondary conditions for higher ratings.

What is Nerve Damage?

Nerve damage involves the impairment of nerves that communicate between the brain, spinal cord and the body itself. 

There are various causes among veterans that can include physical injury, exposure to harmful or toxic substances or underlying medical conditions (like diabetes).

Common Symptoms of Nerve Damage

Veterans with nerve damage can experience a range of symptoms that impact their day-to-day lives.

Some of the most common include:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness

VA Ratings for Different Types of Nerve Damage

There are several different types of nerve damage that can qualify for VA ratings.

They include:

  • Peripheral Nerve Damage
  • Spinal Nerve Damage
  • Cranial Nerve Damage

Let’s look at each separately to see how the VA rates them.

Peripheral Nerve Damage VA Rating

Peripheral nerve damage affects nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.

It is often rated by the VA based on:

  • Severity of symptoms such as pain and sensory loss.
  • Impact on motor function and daily activities.
  • Ratings can vary from 10% to as high as 100% in severe cases.

Spinal Nerve Damage VA Rating

Spinal nerve damage, or radiculopathy, is typically caused by nerve compression in the spine.

This leads to:

  • Pain that radiates from the spine to limbs.
  • Numbness or weakness in the extremities.
  • VA ratings for spinal nerve damage can range from 10% to 60%, based on the extent of functional impairment.

Cranial Nerve Damage VA Rating

Damage to cranial nerves can affect facial muscles, vision, hearing and swallowing.

The VA ratings depend on:

  • The specific cranial nerve affected.
  • The degree of functional loss experienced.
  • Ratings typically range from 0% to 60%.

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Secondary Conditions Related to Nerve Damage

Nerve damage can lead to secondary health issues, which can also be rated by the VA, potentially increasing overall disability ratings.

TDIU for Severe Nerve Damage

Veterans whose nerve damage severely limits their ability to work might qualify for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU). 

This designation allows for compensation at the 100% disability rate, even if the veteran’s combined disability rating is lower.

Veterans are encouraged to explore this option if their nerve damage prevents them from maintaining gainful employment.

To learn more about TDIU, please check out our guide below.

IU Guide CTA Banner

Click here to learn all you need to know about IU benefits.

Cassandra Crosby, an Accredited Agent and claims advocate for Matthew Hill & Shelly Mark’s teams, reviewed the information provided in this post.

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