Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Donations

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1 Neutral

About JaeNobe

  • Rank
    E-3 Seaman
  • Birthday July 20

Profile Information

  • Military Rank
  • Location
    Schofield Barracks, HI

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service

Recent Profile Visitors

101 profile views
  1. I was denied OSA claim secondary to Depression and Chronic Pain.

    I have an IMO from David Anise connecting it to my service related injuries and depression, Sleep Dr. put I my C-Pap was a necessity.  I have a c-pap. Even, submitted the NIH Sleep Disorder study.   I do not have my letter stating why the denied it Im pretty sure its because of the VA's PA that half way did my C&P (5 mins) said that she believed it wasnt.  It was I want to appeal but not sure what the best ave is to do so. Do I hire a lawyer (if so, who do you recommend)? Do I use DAV, VSO. I've seen someone say ask them to send to BVA.  I'm at a complete lost as to what my next step should be. 

    Any advise I would appreciate it! 

    1. Berta


      I poste your wquestion in the Claims Research Forum.

  2. My intent to file was done in Feb 2018. I submitted the claim Jan 2019.
  3. Well, an update for you. My claim was denied. Just checked today and it was completed and no change. Any advise on how to rapid appeal?
  4. Another update.... they kicked it all the way down to Gathering of Evidence and wants another C&P exam!.... this is so frustrating! Trying to hang in there!
  5. Just checked today and mines has moved to back to "Review of Evidence".... could be a good thing that they are at least reviewing it. Estimated Completion 5/12/2019 - 6/15/2019
  6. Quit update... My claim was listed to be finished between 3/9/19 - 3/20/19 well of course it went past that time with no further items needed. Now it says 4/6/19 - 5/08/19 still in Preparation for decision. Fingers are tired of being crossed...lol The wait continues!
  7. I surely will check it out dajoker12. Thank you so much for taking time out to comment on this. My claim is still in gathering evidence and I will update this post as soon as I get more info. I was discharged in 2002. I have asked some of my friends for buddy statements but no luck so far. Thanks again!
  8. Thank you for all the great advice... And yes I thought I caught all the personal name and info... I agree it shouldn't be there. Maybe I didn't catch all of them but all be sure to go back over it and edit them all. Thank you for catching that. On the buddy statements. If I'm claiming this secondary to another SC disability how much would the buddy statements help considering that I cant prove I had it while in service?'
  9. I know the feeling.... My C&P examiner had two questions for me: 1. Had I tried to claim OSA before 2. Do you have any questions for me. That was it. The rest of the time she explaining to me what sleep apnea is.
  10. Huge difference... I just hope the RO sees it in my favor.
  11. Its about 19 pages long but i tried to shorten it As my attached curriculum vitae indicates [Exhibit 1], I am a surgeon with almost thirty years of medical experience. I was Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery and Attending Surgeon in Transplantation at SUNY at Stony Brook. I served as President of the New York '·' Transplantation Society and as Assistant Editor of Transplantation Proceedings. I hold three patents. I have authored three book chapters and 106 research papers published in peer reviewed medical journals. Opinions The following opinions are all to a reasonable degree of medical certainty at least at the "more likely than not" (more than 50 percent) level. I do not have a vested interest in the assignment of this patient's medical diagnostic codes as I am an expert and paid a flat fee prior to the writing of any of my reports. My opinions are based on the judicious application of the medical principles / my training / experience. This report conforms to the federal guidelines on expert testimony as they apply to medical data/facts, reliable principles/methods (see my attached C.V. and book references), and the application of medical principles/methods to the facts/data and is therefore not in any way speculative. After reviewing the veteran's c-file and the pertinent recent medical literature, I opine that it is more likely than not that the veteran's sleep apnea is caused by and/or aggravated by his service-connected conditions of depressive disorder and chronic pain syndrome related to his service-connected injuries. Sleep apnea diagnosis A sleep medicine consult dated July 20, 2006 reports [Exhibit 2]: "The supervising practitioner of record for this patient care encounter is Dr. Sharafkhaneh, Amir. HISTORY OF PRESENTING ILLNESS Patient is a 26 y/o veteran who is being evaluated in sleep clinic for excessive day time sleepiness. He typically retires at about 10 pm .Falls asleep in about 20 mins. He does not c/o restless leg activity while going to sleep. His sleep is not interrupted by nocturnal awakenings. He wakes up at 4:30 am. On awakening patient feels /does not feel refreshed. He has a dry mouth but no head ache on waking up. He has nocturnal reflux episodes. He does not report any symptoms s/o narcolepsy of cataplexy, hypogogic hallucinations or on rare occasions he has experienced sleep paralysis. He does not report any parasornnias. Epworth Sleepiness scale 10 Depression Score ... Assessment: Patient appears to have Obstructive Sleep Apnea with an Epworth Score of 10 indicating mild excessive day time sleepiness." A medical record dated February 23, 2007 shows [Exhibit 3]: "The supervising practitioner of record for this patient care encounter is Dr. Sharafkhaneh, Amir. Referred for: Patient is a 26 year old veteran referred with Obstructive sleep apnea who is seen for follow up. CPAP machine is set at a pressure of 8 H20 .Checked against a manometer and delivers the set pressure." There are two basic mechanisms for obstructive sleep apnea. The first is static narrowing of the airways due to swelling of structures that block the airway. Some examples are septal deviation of the nose, or accumulation of fat in the retro pharynx noted in certain types of obesity. The second, and more frequent reason for sleep apnea, are dynamic processes that involve the muscle tone, mostly of the tongue due to hypotonia of the genioglossus muscle. Jordan et al.i published a study: Airway Dilator Muscle Activity and Lung Volume During Stable Breathing in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: "Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder, characterized by repetitive upper airway collapse during sleep. Upper airway collapse in OSA is thought to occur at sleep onset because of the reduction of activity of several upper airway dilator muscles, which then do not hold the anatomically vulnerable airway open. The severity of OSA varies throughout the night and between sleep stages. Generally, obstructive respiratory events are more common and longer in REM than NREM sleep." airway. Jordan et al. have shown that when patients with OSA spontaneously overcome their tendency for airway collapse and have stable breathing during sleep, the genioglossus muscle is more active than during disordered breathing events: "Electrical activation of the genioglossus muscle or hypoglossal nerve is known to dilate the retroglossal airway and reduce the pharyngeal critical closing pressure in humans. Thus, it would appear lik􀀉.ly that the increased genioglossus muscle activity is playing a causal role in contributing to the sleep stage and time of night differences in the severity ofOSA ... Prior research has shown that the genioglossus is activated by chemoreceptor stimulation and by reflex activation in response to negative pressure. There is also evidence to suggest that the genioglossus receives an independent stimulation during wakefulness which is lost at sleep onset and is known as the 'wakefulness stimulus'." Sleep apnea secondary to Veteran's service-connected mood disorder It is my professional opinion that Veteran's sleep apnea is more likely than not caused by and/or aggravated by his service-connected psychiatric condition (depressive disorder). Sleep apnea in military personnel has now reached an epidemic proportion. A studyii from the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) reported the incidence of OSA and associated attrition from service in active component military members from 1 January 2004 through 31 May 2016. The study identified 223,731 incident cases of OSA with an overall incidence rate of 13 9 .2 per 10,000 person-years, between 2004 and 2015. Rates increased more than 3-fold between 2004 and 2015. In 2015, 48.1 % of all incident cases of OSA were diagnosed in the last year of service. Sharafkhanel et al. in the study Association of psychiatric disorders and sleep apnea in a large cohort iii' reviewed the Veterans Health Administration data from 1998 to 2001 and identified patient records indicating sleep apnea and various psychiatric conditions. Out of 4,060,504 unique cases, 118,105 were identified as having sleep apnea ( estimated prevalence of 2.91 % ). Psychiatric comorbid diagnoses in the sleep apnea group included depression (21.8% ), anxiety (16. 7% ), posttraumatic stress disorder (11. 9% ), psychosis (5 .1 % ), and bipolar disorders (3.3%). Compared with patients not diagnosed with sleep apnea, a significantly greater prevalence (P < .0001) was fou)!d for mood disorders, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and dementia in patients with sleep apnea. The study concluded that sleep apnea is associated with a higher prevalence of psychiatric comorbid conditions in Veterans Health Administration beneficiaries. Scientists at the Madigan Army Medical Center have recently studied the incidence of sleep apnea in military personnel.iv Mysliwiec et alv studied the associations between sleep disorders and service-related diagnoses of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They evaluated 110 active duty soldiers referred to the sleep disorders clinic within 18 months of deployment. These soldiers were young ( average age 33.6 years) and not obese. Overall, 62.7% met diagnostic criteria for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and 63.6% for insomnia. 38.2% had comorbid insomnia and OSA. The incidence of PTSD, TBI and mood disorder reached Conclusion After reviewing all of the veteran's medical and military records, it is my expert medical opinion that it is more likely than not (50% or more) that the veteran's sleep apnea is caused by and/or aggravated by his service-connected conditions of depressive disorder and chronic pain syndrome related to his service-connected injuries. While each of these conditions solely is sufficient to cause OSA, clearly a combination of these disabilities will cause OSA.
  12. The C&P doctor finally updated the the DBQ. Please tell me what you think... NOTE: I have submitted to ebenefits a favorable IMO along with studies to prove my secondary condition. PULMONARY C & P EXAMINATION CONSULT : LOCAL TITLE: C&P RESPIRATORY STANDARD TITLE: PULMONARY C & P EXAMINATION CONSULT DATE OF NOTE: FEB 12, 2019@12:30 ENTRY DATE: FEB 15, 2019@12:51:05 AUTHOR: xxxxxxxxxxx-AOUI EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Sleep ApneaDisability Benefits QuestionnaireName of patient/Veteran: Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P ExaminationRequest?[X] Yes [ ] NoACE and Evidence Review-----------------------Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document:[X] In-person examinationEvidence Review---------------Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):[X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)[X] CPRSA . Diagnosis------------Does the Veteran have or has he/she ever had sleep apnea?[X] Yes [ ] No[X] ObstructiveICD code: G47.33 Date of diagnosis: 20062. Medical history------------------a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's sleepdisorder condition (brief summary):3/5/02STR - YES TO FREQUENT TROUBLE SLEEPING - AND DEPRESSION SINCE ONSET OF?CHAPTER PROCEDURE ENTERING ALCOHOL COUNSELLING FOR INCREASED ETOH USE(???)2/7/02HEIGHT: 5'11WEIGHT: 195 LBSBMI = 27.2BMI AT TIME OF OSA DIAGNOSIS = 32b. Is continuous medication required for control of a sleep disordercondition?[ ] Yes [X] Noc. Does the Veteran require the use of a breathing assistance device?[ ] Yes [X] Nod. Does the Veteran require the use of a continuous positive airway pressure(CPAP) machine?[X] Yes [ ] No3. Findings, signs and symptoms-------------------------------Does the Veteran currently have any findings, signs or symptoms attributableto sleep apnea?[ ] Yes [X] No4. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs,symptoms and scars-----------------------------------------------------------------------a. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings,complications, conditions, signs or symptoms related to any conditionslisted in the Diagnosis Section above?[ ] Yes [X] Nob. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to anyconditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the DiagnosisSection above?[ ] Yes [X] Noc. Comments, if any:No response provided.5. Diagnostic testing---------------------a. Has a sleep study been performed?[X] Yes [ ] NoIf yes, does the Veteran have documented sleep disorder breathing?[X] Yes [ ] NoDate of sleep study: 7/25/06Facility where sleep study performed, if known: HOUSTON VAResults:AHI = 19RDI = 25SAO2 NADIR = 76%b. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results?[ ] Yes [X] No6. Functional impact--------------------Does the Veteran's sleep apnea impact his or her ability to work?[ ] Yes [X] No7. Remarks, if any:-------------------FULL TIME EMPLOYED DOING INVENTORY FOR COMPUTER HARDWARE X 3 YEARS****************************************************************************Medical OpinionDisability Benefits QuestionnaireName of patient/Veteran: ACE and Evidence Review-----------------------Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document:[X] In-person examinationEvidence Review---------------Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):[X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)[X] CPRSMEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY-----------------------RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks:**CLAIM TYPE: ORIGINAL**SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS: FDC**INSUFFICIENT EXAM: NOELECTRONIC CLAIMS FOLDER AVAILABLE.The Veteran has filed a fully developed claim. Please expedite.Date of claim: 01/25/2019Days pending: 4Veteran has a power of attorney.Please send a courtesy copy of the exam notice letter to 049 - TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSIONAttention C&P clinical staff - This exam request was scheduled at your location based on the claimant's residing zip code and ERRA instructions.These remarks were generated using version 4.45 of the Exam Request Builder (ERB_v_4.45).The Veteran will need to report for the following exam(s) unless the ACE process is utilized. Clinician: If using the ACE process to complete the DBQ, please explain the basis for the decision not to examine the Veteran, and identify the specific materials reviewed to complete he DBQ. Also if the exam is completed using ACE, please review the Veteran's claims folder and indicate so in the exam report.DBQ RESP Sleep apnea_________________________________________________________The following contentions need to be examined:Sleep Apnea secondary to Depressive DisorderMedical Opinion Active duty service dates:Branch: ArmyEOD: 08/17/1999RAD: 06/28/2002DBQ RESP Sleep apnea:Please review the Veteran's electronic folder in VBMS and state that it was reviewed in your report.A sleep study is already of record in the Veteran's claims folder.MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTTYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTED: Secondary Service connection.OPINION REQUESTED: Secondary Service Connection.Is the Veteran's Sleep Apnea secondary to Depressive Disorder at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of depressive disorder (claimed as depression)?Rationale must be provided in the appropriate section. Your review is not limited to the evidence identified on this request form, or tabbed in the claims folder. If an examination or additional testing is required, obtain them prior to rendering your opinion.POTENTIALLY RELEVANT EVIDENCE:NOTE: Your (examiner) review of the record is NOT restricted to the evidence listed below. This list is provided in an effort to assist the examiner in locating potentially relevant evidence.Tab A (Private treatment record in VBMS): Independent medical expert opinion dated 01/21/2019Please direct any questions regarding this request to:b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: SLEEP APNEA*** REFERENCED DOCUMENTATION WERE REVIEWED ***TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR SECONDARY SERVICE CONNECTION ]b. The condition claimed is less likely than not (less than 50% probability) proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. c. Rationale: OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA IS A PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITION OF THE UPPER AIRWAYS. ALTHOUGH SLEEP DISTURBANCE IS A SYMPTOM OF MOOD DISORDER, IT WOULD NOT CAUSE THE SOFT-PALATE PROBLEM ASSOCIATEDWITH SLEEP APNEA. "SLEEP APNEA IS A PERIODIC COMPLETE (CAUSING APNEA) OR PARTIAL (CAUSING HYPOPNEA) COLLAPSE OF PHARYNGEAL SOFT TISSUE DURING SLEEP"http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115600/Obstructive-sleep-apnea-OSA-in-adults#General-InformationIT IS NOTED THAT THE VETERAN'S BMI HAD INCREASED FROM 27 TO 32 (ATTHE TIME OF DIAGNOSIS; BMI OF 30 AND ABOVE IS CATEGORIZED AS OBESE.OBESITY IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST RISK FACTOR FORSLEEP APNEA. IT IS ASSOCIATED WITH ALTERATIONS OF ANATOMY THAT MAY LEAD TO UPPER AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION BY INCREASING THE NECK CIRCUMFERENCE AND DEPOSITS OF FAT AROUND THE NECK. THIS PLACES A LOAD ON THE UPPER AIRWAY THAT MAY LEAD TO AIRFLOW OBSTRUCTION. http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1513/pats.200708-137MG#_i1OTH REFERENCES:1) http://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-obstructive-sleep-apnea-in-adults?source=search_result&search=SLEEP+APNEA&selectedTitle=1%7E150#H7601862) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/295807-overview#a4*************************************************************************xxxxxxxSigned: 02/15/2019 12:51
  13. no that is the doctor that did my sleep study at the VA and then the same name shows up on the Article you posted. My IMO was done by Dr. David Anaise
  14. I looked at the SecondarySleepApneaArticle you posted. Same Doctor!!
  • Create New...

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines