Fibromyalgia And Its Symptoms And How The VA Rates This Condition

Fibromyalgia And Its Symptoms And How The VA Rates This Condition

Posted On: Mar 15, 2024

A complicated chronic pain disorder that affects millions of people worldwide is fibromyalgia. It is characterized by fatigue, cognitive impairments, and extensive musculoskeletal pain, and can have a major negative effect on a person's well-being. It might be difficult for veterans to deal with fibromyalgia, comprehend its symptoms, and apply for compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We explore fibromyalgia symptoms, effects, and the VA's assessment and rating of this condition for disability benefits in this extensive guide.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia

1. Pervasive Pain

A common sign of fibromyalgia is a diffuse pain that radiates to many areas of the body. Many people describe this discomfort as a persistent dull aching that lasts for several months or even years.

2. Fatigue

Another common symptom that people with fibromyalgia have is fatigue. Even after getting enough sleep, people can still feel worn out and unmotivated, which makes it harder for them to go about their everyday business.

3. Cognitive Challenges

Cognitive impairments are a common symptom of fibromyalgia, sometimes known as "fibro fog." This includes issues with focus, memory, and information processing, all of which can make it difficult to go about everyday tasks and work.

4. Disturbances in Sleep

Patients with fibromyalgia frequently experience sleep difficulties, such as trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or non-restorative sleep. This intensifies other symptoms and feeds the cycle of exhaustion.

5. Hypersensitivity to Perceptions

People who suffer from fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to light, sound, temperature, and touch, which can exacerbate their pain and discomfort.

6. Other Symptoms

Headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), tingling or numbness in the limbs, and stiffness when you wake up are some other symptoms of fibromyalgia.

The Effects of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia symptoms can significantly disrupt a person's life, impacting their social, emotional, and physical health. It might be difficult to work, participate in physical activities, or keep up relationships when dealing with chronic pain and weariness. Further compounding the overall burden of the condition are feelings of frustration, loneliness, and despair brought on by cognitive impairments and sleep abnormalities.

VA Fibromyalgia Disability Ratings

Criteria for Evaluation

Based on the severity of symptoms and how they affect a veteran's capacity to function, the VA assesses fibromyalgia. Veterans who can show that their fibromyalgia is related to their military service and fits specific requirements may still be eligible for compensation, even though fibromyalgia is not a recognized disability in the VA's rating schedule.

Evaluation Procedure

Veterans with fibromyalgia must present medical documentation attesting to their diagnosis and describing the extent of their symptoms to be eligible for disability compensation. These could include diagnostic tests, medical records, and quotes from medical professionals describing how fibromyalgia affects their day-to-day activities.

Consideration of Symptoms

When assessing disability ratings, the VA takes into account several fibromyalgia symptoms, such as pain, exhaustion, cognitive impairments, and sleep disruptions. During the evaluation procedure, factors such as the frequency and intensity of these symptoms as well as their effect on functional impairment are considered.

Individual Unemployability (IU)

Should a veteran's fibromyalgia substantially hinder their capacity to work, they can qualify for benefits. For veterans with service-connected disabilities, such as fibromyalgia, who are unable to find or keep gainful employment, IU offers compensation at the 100% disability rate.


Debilitating conditions like fibromyalgia can have a significant effect on veterans' life. It can impair their capacity to work and participate in daily activities, as well as their physical and mental health. For veterans looking for assistance and compensation, it is essential to comprehend the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia as well as how the VA rates and assesses this condition for disability benefits.