VA Refuses To Recognize Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), formerly reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a very real and very painful condition. It wreaks havoc on the central nervous system and those unfortunate enough to have developed the condition are in continuous pain. It has been described as feeling like glass tearing at the victim’s body.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome will usually set in following a minor injury, which inflames the nerves. Despite the healing of the original injury, the pain it causes never stops hurting. Recent history has seen more veterans reporting such pain, and many veterans believe it is tied to service-related injuries. Because the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not recognize CRPS, veterans cannot collect benefits for the disorder.

In 2005 there were 330 disability claims citing CRPS in appeal. In 2009 that number rose to almost 600, and there are approximately 500 current CRPS cases in front of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Many believe the number of veterans complaining of CRPS is going to continue to rise.

The VA will compensate veterans for injuries received due to CRPS, but they do not assign the condition its own disability rating. The persistent, disproportionally high level of pain caused by the condition is particularly frustrating for patients as it can return unexpectedly after patients believe they have healed from the original injury.

IF CRPS is caught early enough, a cure is possible. Unfortunately, not many doctors understand the condition and even fewer are able to treat it. Left unchecked, and nerve damage in other parts of the patients’ body is possible. Many times, living with daily pain leads to depression and personality changes, which usually affects more than just the patient.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.