What Is Raynaud’s Disease?
Raynaud’s disease is a circulation disorder that causes some areas of the body, most commonly the fingers or toes, to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud’s disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to the skin become narrow, limiting blood flow to certain areas. The most common symptoms of Raynaud’s include:
- Cold fingers or toes
- Color changes to the skin (especially lightening of the skin) in response to cold or stress
- Feeling of numbness in toes or fingers
- A prickly or stinging sensation upon warming or stress relief
During a Raynaud’s attack, the affected areas of the skin usually turn white first, after which they begin to feel cold and numb. As the body warms and circulation returns to the affected areas, the affected fingers and toes may begin to turn red, throb, tingle or swell. After warming up, it can take fifteen minutes or longer for normal blood flow to fully return to the area.
Raynaud’s disease is a chronic condition, but under 38 CFR § 3.309(a), it is subject to service connection within the VA disability system if (1) the disease presents itself to a degree of 10 percent or more within one year of the veteran’s discharge from the military or (2) there is evidence showing that the condition was made worse by the veteran’s military service.
How The VA Rates Raynaud’s Disease
Under 38 CFR § 4.104, the VA rates Raynaud’s disease according to the severity of the condition and its impact on the veteran’s everyday living.
Diagnostic Code 7117: Raynaud’s syndrome
- 100 – With two or more digital ulcers plus autoamputation of one or more digits and history of characteristic attacks
- 60 – With two or more digital ulcers and history of characteristic attacks
- 40 – Characteristic attacks occurring at least daily
- 20 – Characteristic attacks occurring four to six times a week
- 10 – Characteristic attacks occurring one to three times a week
For definition purposes, characteristic attacks consist of sequential color changes to the digits of one or more extremities which last minutes to hours, sometimes with pain and numbness, and preceded by exposure to cold or stressful situations.
Getting Help With Your Raynaud’s Disease VA Claim
If you or someone you know is a veteran with Raynaud’s disease who is looking to get service connection for his or her condition, please contact our office today. Our experienced veterans disability attorneys are ready to help you secure the compensation to which you are entitled.