VA Disability for Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a range of symptoms that are caused by a pinched or damaged nerve in the spinal column. Veterans with radiculopathy may find it uncomfortable or even painful to perform basic tasks like walking, sitting, and bending. This condition can interfere with your ability to hold a job, pursue hobbies, care for your family, and maintain a social life. Our sole focus is to help veterans obtain their earned benefits. We’re passionate about our work because we are a veteran-owned law firm. Our combined legal experience and military service give us a perspective and insight that other firms don’t have. And we’re ready to put that expertise to work for you. We can help even if you’ve already received a denial from Veteran Affairs for your radiculopathy claim.

If you’re ready to file your appeal to secure VA disability for radiculopathy, contact us for a free case review. The VA’s processes and rules seem to change all the time. Don’t get caught spinning your wheels. We can help with the complex appeals process so you don’t waste your time and effort.


Every day, you live with symptoms like pain, weakness, and numbness. To you and your loved ones, your radiculopathy is clearly debilitating and interferes with your life. You were understandably upset when your VA claim was denied. There are many reasons why denials happen, including:

  • Your claim lacked a solid service connection. The VA doesn’t know you personally. They can only go by the forms and other documentation that you submit. When the VA considers a service connection, they’re looking for a clear connection between an in-service occurrence and your radiculopathy. You may need to strengthen your appeal with a buddy statement or testimony from friends and family.
  • The VA requested more information. Life gets hectic. The VA asked for more information, but you didn’t send it in by the deadline. Or, you weren’t even sure where to go or what exactly they were asking for. If you hire us to help with your appeal, we’ll manage any deadlines and handle the tedious paperwork. We just need you to attend any required doctor visits.
  • You filled out the wrong form. If there’s one thing the VA isn’t short of, it’s forms. Their website contains countless forms, and many of them have similar-sounding names. It’s not unheard of for someone to be confused and fill out the wrong form.
  • You weren’t formally diagnosed. Radiculopathy is often caused by another health condition, one that you might already be receiving benefits for. But if you want to have radiculopathy factored into your VA disability rating, you must have a formal diagnosis. Just having the associated symptoms noted in your medical records isn’t enough.

It’s frustrating to be told that you aren’t eligible for benefits. The good news is, you can appeal a VA denial. For VA denials dated on or after February 19, 2019, there are three options to appeal: Supplemental Claim, Higher-Level Review, and Board Appeal. If you don’t agree with one decision, you may be able to pursue another review option.

If you received your denial prior to February 19, 2019, you may still be eligible to file an appeal or a Supplemental Claim under the new process after the proper documents are submitted.

We can help determine which options you are eligible for and make the most sense for your situation. We know that you need your benefits now and don’t have time to waste.


The VA rates all service-connected conditions by using diagnostic codes and criteria found in the Schedule for Rating Disabilities. Radiculopathy is often a secondary service condition, brought on or exacerbated by another service-connected condition.

The type of radiculopathy you have, the severity of your symptoms, and the nature of any existing service-connected conditions will determine your VA disability rating.

There are three types of radiculopathy:

  • Lumbar radiculopathy occurs due to a compressed nerve in the lower back, causing sciatic nerve pain, and is the most common form.
  • Cervical radiculopathy occurs due to a pinched nerve in the neck and can impact the shoulders, arms, and hands.
  • Thoracic radiculopathy occurs in the upper back, sometimes affecting the front of the body, and is the least common form.

VA disability ratings are expressed as percentages and range from 10% to 100%. The disability rating for radiculopathy can range from 10% for minor radiculopathy affecting the hand to 90% for major paralysis affecting all three radicular groups (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar). There is not a 100% rating for radiculopathy alone, but 100% disability benefits can be achieved if you suffer from other service-connected conditions.


Service-related radiculopathy is often brought on or aggravated by a back injury or strain. There are numerous ways that service members can injure their back:

  • Lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy equipment
  • Operating a weapon
  • Jumping or falling
  • Explosions
  • Motor vehicle accidents

These activities can cause radiculopathy by exacerbating other spinal conditions, like:

  • Stenosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Certain forms of arthritis
  • Bone spurs

Rarely, radiculopathy can be caused by a service-connected spinal infection or tumor that presses against the nerves.


To be eligible for VA disability benefits, your radiculopathy must have been caused by or exacerbated by a service-related occurrence. An “occurrence” can be a one-time event or an ongoing activity that happened over a period of time. Radiculopathy is often a secondary service connection because it can be linked to an established service-connected disability such as a lumbar spine or cervical spine disorder.

The service connection for radiculopathy can be established through your medical history, military service records, a buddy statement, and testimony from family and friends.



If your radiculopathy was either caused by or aggravated by a service-related activity, or secondary to a service-connected condition such as a lumbar spine or cervical spine disorder, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits. In order to receive these monthly payments, you must have a formal diagnosis and then apply. You won’t receive VA disability benefits automatically.


The VA pays out monthly benefits to veterans who have a service-connected condition. Veteran Disability Compensation Rates are based on your disability rating. Your benefit amount may be higher if you have a spouse or dependents. VA disability ratings for radiculopathy range between 10% to 90%, depending on severity.


The VA needs to see a link or “nexus” that connects your radiculopathy to an in-service event or to a service-connected condition, such as a lumbar spine or cervical spine disorder. Your service records, medical information, and existing service-connected conditions may be enough to establish this link. Some veterans can prove or strengthen their claim with buddy statements and lay testimony.


A Veteran Disability Lawyer’s role is to assist you throughout the confusing and often frustrating appeals process if you have received a denial on your claim for service-connected radiculopathy. Generally, you need to be denied at least once before an attorney can assist, but once a lawyer is involved they will often be able to quickly determine what needs to be done in order to prove entitlement.

If you got a denial on your veteran disability claim for radiculopathy, be sure to contact the VA Accredited Attorneys at VetLaw right away to help make sure you get the entitlement you deserve.