Restless Leg Syndrome: Getting a VA Rating

Mon Jun 24 2024

|allveteran

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by unpleasant sensations. The main symptom is chronic pain which often leads to insomnia or other sleep problems. Therefore, it can greatly impact the quality of life, with disruptions in sleep and everyday activities. Interestingly, RLS […]

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Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by unpleasant sensations. The main symptom is chronic pain which often leads to insomnia or other sleep problems. Therefore, it can greatly impact the quality of life, with disruptions in sleep and everyday activities. Interestingly, RLS appears to have a significant connection with military service, with a substantial number of veterans being diagnosed with RLS after their service. This brings into focus the importance of understanding the Veterans Affairs (VA) rating for Restless Leg Syndrome as a service connected disability and how it impacts the benefits veterans can claim.

Veterans and Restless Leg Syndrome

Military service often entails exposure to harsh physical conditions, psychological stress, and various environmental hazards, all of which could potentially contribute to the development of Restless Leg Syndrome. A study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine indicates that veterans are twice as likely to experience RLS than the civilian population. The prevalence of RLS is more significant among veterans with psychiatric disorders and those with chronic diseases like diabetes and arthritis.

Understanding VA Ratings

The VA rating system is a crucial aspect of the benefits determination process for veterans affected by conditions developed during, or worsened by, military service. The VA assigns a disability rating (expressed as a percentage) based on the severity of the veteran’s condition. The process of arriving at a VA rating involves providing comprehensive medical evidence and undergoing a Compensation & Pension (C&P) examination. The resulting rating has a direct impact on the level of disability compensation a veteran can receive.

Restless Leg Syndrome VA Rating

The VA specifically rates Restless Legs Syndrome under Code 8105 – Artery and Vein conditions, although the primary symptoms of RLS are neurological. This discrepancy is primarily due to the union of symptoms that RLS and peripheral artery diseases share, including pain and numbness. The severity of the condition, its impact on daily life activities, and the veteran’s overall physical health are all taken into account. Ratings may range from 0% to 100%, with 0% indicating the least serious conditions and 100% marking severe disabilities.

The Process of Applying for a Restless Leg Syndrome VA Rating

Applying for a VA rating for Restless Legs Syndrome first involves the fundamental step of filing a claim through the VA’s website. Following this, veterans are required to provide thorough documentation detailing their medical history and service records. Medical records should include proof of diagnosis and documented experiences of the frequency and severity of RLS episodes. Vets are then required to undergo a C&P exam, after which the VA will determine a disability rating. The entire process can take several months to a year.

How to Increase Your VA Disability Rating for Restless Leg Syndrome

Increasing a VA disability rating for RLS significantly depends on the provision of substantial medical evidence in your disability claim. Adequate documentation of increased severity or frequency of symptoms and a detailed impact on the individual’s daily life activities can help maximize the VA disability benefits available. Veterans should also consider seeking legal representation when applying for increases in ratings, especially for complex cases.

Conclusion

Understanding the VA rating for Restless Leg Syndrome is crucial for veterans affected by this medical condition. It substantially influences the level of compensation to which they are entitled. The VA rating process may seem challenging and lengthy, but veterans are encouraged to persevere and use all available resources to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve.

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