Raman spectroscopy is used to study crystal damage and electrical damage in n+-GaAs produced by reactive ion etching (REE). H2 RIE is compared with CH4/H2 RIE and the effect of temperature annealing is studied. The results are compared with C-V analysis. It is found that structural damage introduced by RIE in the surface layers of the sample is larger for the H2 plasma than for the CH4/H2 plasma. Annealing results in a decrease of this structural damage. H2 RIE as well as CH4/H2 RIE cause an increase of the inactive surface region. This increase is found to be larger for the H2 RDE. C-V experiments show that annealing results in a reactivation and associated decrease of the width of the inactive region.