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  1. Morning All, My Questions in this post are somewhat tied to my post of Feb 8th. I really appreciate all the input I received on that post. I've been really struggling on how I should proceed with two of my secondary claims (OSA and Hypertension) that were denied by the VA. Especially the OSA claim. And here's why... For my C&P exams for my Hypertension, Back Issues, Bilateral Radiculopathy, Abdominal Hernia, and OSA, the VA sent me to a Physicians Assistant (PA). The PA checked all of these claims in one appointment and hardly asked me anything about my OSA and Hypertension. My claim for Radiculopathy ended up being granted and I received an increased rating for my already service-connected (SC) back. However, the other claims were denied. Just to be clear, as I believe I noted in my Feb 8th post, I submitted the denied claims as secondary claims to my SC lower back using my obesity (caused by my SC back issues) as the "intermediate step" to these secondary claims. On a side note - I was given a C&P exam by a different PA, on a different day, on my knee. This was also a weight-related secondary claim that was denied. So, so far, the VA has denied all of my secondary weight-related claims. In any case, I have been seeing a Sleep Specialist for my OSA, who wrote a Nexus for me that I submitted with my claim. In fact, every claim I submitted I had a Nexus for (from Doctors - not a PA), as well as sufficient medical records. And yet, the VA chose to take the word of a PA over a Specialist. On a good note (at least I think) the VA did acknowledge in their decision letter that I did in fact have OSA and Hypertension. Is that a good thing for me? Even though I have four claims that have not been rated as of yet, that I sent in at the same time as the ones mentioned above, the VA sent me a decision letter for the ones that have been decided. The claims I'm still waiting on three claims that fall under the mental health category, and my TDIU claim. So I'm not sure if the VA already knows they will deny them, or if they realize it will take a long time to decide, so they went ahead and sent a decision letter. Doesn't make sense to me that they would send a decision letter when I still have undecided claims out. Thoughts on this?? Anyway, my main questions are: 1. For my OSA claim: should I get a DBQ from my Sleep Specialist and file for a Supplemental Claim, or no DBQ and just do a Higher Level Review (HLR)? This is the question that's had me tossing and turning the most. 2. Should I wait for all my claims to be decided before I file for a Supplemental or a HLR on my denied claims? 3. Should I file all denied claims at the same time, or stagger them? I'm mostly concerned about my OSA and Hypertension claims getting approved. If any of my conditions kill me, it will likely be one of those two - and I want to make sure my wife has a good chance at DIC if it does. Thanks again for any inputs and advice. It's much appreciated!
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