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Found 71 results

  1. Facts regarding claim: Sleep Apnea secondary to insomnia Date of diagnosis: 7/18/2014 Current disabilities relevant to claim: Tinnitus – Service Connected - 6/5/2017 Insomnia – Servicee Connected - 4/13/2018 Facts regarding claim: Sleep Apnea secondary to insomnia Date of diagnosis: 7/18/2014 Current disabilities relevant to claim: Tinnitus – Service Connected - 6/5/2017 Insomnia – Servicee Connected - 4/13/2018 Status of claim: CUE submitted due to errors in claim by Rater Status of Cue: In process. Mistakes accepted as grounds for CUE Purpose of claim: Establish to VA my service connected disabilities Insomnia and tinnitus are aggravating the symptoms of my non-service connected disability sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea Symptoms: Hypersomnolence & Fatigue Service Connection Justification: Per CFE > Title 38 > Chapter I > Part 3 > Subpart A > Section 3.310: Any increase in severity of a nonservice-connected disease or injury that is proximately due to or the result of a service-connected disease or injury, and not due to the natural progress of the nonservice-connected disease, will be service connected. Narrative: My service connected secondary insomnia and my service connected tinnitus are responsible for my sleep deprivation which is aggravating my sleep apnea symptoms: hypersomnolence and fatigue. Incident: On 27 September 2018, I went to my scheduled C&P examination expecting to answer questions about my sleep apnea symptoms (hypersomnolence and fatigue) being aggravated by the sleep deprivation I am experiencing due to my service connected tinnitus and insomnia disorder. When I got to my appointment, the C&P doctor just wanted to see my 2014 sleep study. There were no questions asked. I asked what was the reason for this C&P exam? The doctor stated he just needed dates from my sleep study. Since the VA already has this information, I was very confused as to why I was asked to attend an appointment to gather information that they already possess. I then contacted QTC who notified me of my appointment and according to the claim specialist the one question that the C&P doctor was tasked to answer was "Is the veterans sleep apnea at least likely or not proximately due to or the result of tinnitus" This question the C&P physician was tasked to answer has nothing to do with what my claim is even about. My tinnitus didn’t exist when my sleep apnea was discovered. The CUE for which was created because of a mistake made much like this one on the original claim clearly states: Because of the constant ringing in my ears that never changes in volume or goes away at any time (severe tinnitus), I am suffering chronic secondary insomnia as well as chronic migraine with tension headaches. My service connected secondary insomnia is responsible for my sleep deprivation which is aggravating my sleep apnea symptoms (hypersomnolence and fatigue). Request compensation for the aggravation of my sleep apnea symptoms (hypersomnolence and fatigue) from my service connected tinnitus and insomnia disorder. I submitted a VA Form 21-4138 and said stated: The question you tasked the C&P doctor to respond to does not at all pertain to the purpose of the claim you are evaluating. Since my sleep apnea was diagnosed in 2014, and my tinnitus was service connected 6/5/2017, how would you expect this doctor to provide a credible response to your question? My tinnitus didn’t exist in 2014. I stated: Did you not thoroughly examine the CUE (clear and un-mistakable error) and claim you are responsible re-evaluating? Are you not supposed to do this before sending someone to a C&P examination appointment for apparently nothing? Did you not check the service connection dates of my disabilities: tinnitus and insomnia along with the date of my sleep study? Doing this would have provided you vital information about my claim in that my sleep apnea was present before I was awarded my tinnitus service connection. This is a secondary service connection by aggravation claim. Please read carefully the Claim and then the CUE created because of how badly the original claim was handled. It states the circumstances leading up to my sleep deprivation I am experiencing which is causing the aggravation of my sleep apnea symptoms hypersomnolence and fatigue. I ended it with this question. How could anyone expect to get a fair claim decision if the VA representative handling their claim doesn’t bother to examine all information pertaining to the claim they are evaluating? There it is. I also put in a complaint using IRIS including everything you see on this post. I am expecting to do another CUE. My question after all of this. Is my claim valid?
  2. Seems the VA can on occasion consider obesity merely as a "symptom"* and perhaps even the type of symptom that the VA alleges is caused by the Veteran's own willful misconduct of overeating or being inactive so it can deny the claim. However, since the American Medical Association ( AMA ) recently in June of 2013 has officially declared that "obesity is a disease", might that allow disabled veterans whose service connected condition(s) led to excessive weight gain to now find more success claiming obesity as a ratable secondary medical condition or a disease aggravated by the Veteran's service connected condition(s)? *"Obesity Service connection is not warranted for obesity. Claiming service connection for obesity amounts to claiming service connection for a symptom, rather than for an underlying disease or injury which may have caused the symptom. In this respect, obesity, in and of itself, is not a disability for which service connection may be granted. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) has defined "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force." See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003), citing Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary 901 (29th Ed. 2000). Thus, obesity caused by overeating or lack of exercise is the result of the veteran's own behavior, and as such is not an "injury" as defined for VA purposes. See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (defining "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force"). The Federal Circuit also defined "disease" as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ, or system of the body." Terry, 340 F.3d at 1384, citing Dorland's at 511. Obesity that is not due to an underlying pathology cannot be considered to be due to "disease," defined as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ or system of the body." Id. The body's normal storage of calories for future use represents the body working at what it is designed to do. It is well settled that symptoms alone, without a finding of an underlying disorder, cannot be service-connected. See Sanchez-Benitez v. Principi, 259 F.3d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2001)." - from a BVA 2009 Decision ---and--- "Obesity or being overweight, a particularity of body type, alone, is not considered a disability for which service connection may be granted. See generally 38 C.F.R. Part 4 (VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities) (2009) (does not contemplate a separate disability rating for obesity). Rather, applicable VA regulations use the term "disability" to refer to the average impairment in earning capacity resulting from diseases or injuries encountered as a result of or incident to military service. Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 (1995); Hunt v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 292, 296 (1991); 38 C.F.R. § 4.1 (2009). The question is thus whether the current obesity is a disability-i.e. a condition causing impairment in earning capacity. In this case, there is no such evidence. The veteran has not asserted that obesity causes impairment of earning capacity; instead he asserts that his obesity has caused other disabilities to manifest. There is also no other evidence that the claimed obesity is a disability. Inasmuch as the Veteran does not have a disability manifested by obesity and obesity is not a disease or disability for which service connection may be granted, the Board concludes that obesity was not incurred in or aggravated by service and may not be presumed to have been so incurred. This claim is not in relative equipoise; therefore, the Veteran may not be afforded the benefit of the doubt in the resolution thereof. Rather, as a preponderance of the evidence is against the claim, it must be denied. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b) (West 2002)" - from a 2010 BVA Decision But didn't the VA as early as 2006 already characterize obesity as a disease? "Obesity is a complex and chronic disease that develops from an interaction between the individual’s genotype and the environment." - http://www.healthquality.va.gov/obesity/obe06_final1.pdf "The AMA's decision essentially makes diagnosis and treatment of obesity a physician's professional obligation." - Los Angeles Times http://www.today.com/health/obesity-disease-doctors-group-says-6C10371394
  3. Hello Hadit.com Members, I am new to the site, but I have reviewed a lot of information throughout the different forums and I must say the collaborated efforts to assist an in need fellow veteran is refreshing. Hopefully I am not too much of a burden with my situation and hopefully I can benefit from your guidance because right now I am at a loss on how to approach my claims. I am currently service-connected for TMJ - 20%
  4. So to make a long story short, I was active duty since 1994 and medically discharged in 2005. Since around 99/2000 I have suffered from what I now know as sleep apnea. I was never tested for it during service, but I had no idea what the heck it even was. Only knew I was being woken up by my wife, and when in the field or deployment soldiers, because I would snore loud and then stop breathing. I placed an initial claim for this in 2010 after I had a surgery at the VA, and I was placed in the ICU due to low oxygen levels and having sleep apnea during surgery. 04/2010, I did the first claim on my own and it was quickly denied. 10/2010, I re-opened the claim with 3 buddy letters of soldiers who witnessed me in the same close sleeping questers during deployment, stop breathing. Had a C&P exam, with a doc who spent all of 3 minutes asking me directing questions. It too, was denied. 04/2012, I re-opended it again after I had my actual VA doc write me a nexus letter claiming it was "more likely than not" related to service and a new buddy letter from a service member who shared quarter with me in various units, and from my wife. It too, was denied. 02/13, I submitted the NOD, and had a DRO review, it too was denied. 02/15, I submitted the appeal, with the help of Military Order of the Purple heart. It was received 03/2015 and and it was been sitting since 09/2015 at "Awaiting place on docket" Anybody have this type of claim? Trying to use secondary evidence and Nexus letters because you have no service record of it? The advice I have been given depends on who I have asked. I have been told, I should have been awarded due to mixed views and having the benefit of the doubt. I have been told I have no chance without a record of it in service. I have been told it is just the process I have to go through, the VA denies denies denies and dwindles down the hopefuls to very few who will take it all the way through appeals. I have been told both do do a congressional investigation because it worked, and to not do a congressional because I will only provoke a quick "no" answer. I am hoping someone who has been in my shoes can tell me what they went through. I have no idea how long I will be in this appeal process, but I am now going on six years fighting this thing, although for the VA they only go back to the last time you re-opened so for them 4 years.
  5. Finally got my Sleep Apnea DBQ and Nexus Letter back from my doctor. E-Benefits is showing Disabilities Claimed: sleep apnea to include due to aggravtion by ptsd (New) I had my military treatment records, C&P Report for PTSD, VA Claims File for the doctor's review, but he said that he wasn't comfortable stating that he reviewed these documents since it would take him several days. Just wanted to see what everyone's thoughts are on my DBQ & Nexus letter that doesn't state that he reviewed my VA documents or military treatment records. Thanks! OEF 21B Sanitized Sleep Apnea DBP and Nexus Letter_27 JUL 15_Redacted.pdf
  6. Hi all, looking for feedback regarding my progress and chances, along with any other suggestions. I served in the Navy from 1999-2005, Honorable discharge as a nuclear mechanical on subs. Sadly, like many I rarely reported medical issues while I was in, didn't want to hurt the command with absences. If only I knew then right? In 2015 I filed put my first claim in, Rhinitis (this was well documented inservice) sleep apnea, i had symptoms inservice that were documented but never diagnosed and hypertension secondary to OSA. I thought I had a good package, I had buddy statements and an IMO from Dr Ellis. Well the VA disagreed. They granted SC Rhinitis at 10% and declined SC for OSA and HTN. I applied for a denovo review and they upheld the first rating. I then let my 1 year expire and things ended there. A few years later my sinuses were getting worse. I saw an ENT who diagnosed severe sinusitis a deviated septum and polyps. We tried steroids and antibiotics and then went with a pretty complex sinus surgery. Post op several rounds of steroids and still have polyps. I currently use daily steroid irrigation. That sucks. My OSA of course was diagnosed with a sleep study, it was rated as severe and I use a CPAP daily. I strongly feel that the fact that I can barley breath through my nose makes it a lot worse. The diagnosis on all of these are unarguable. Its the SC that will be the battle. HTN: I have pretty severe HTN, it is controlled with 3 meds daily. The literature is pretty clear that OSA worsens HTN. And for what its worth, I don't use the VA for health care. So my packet: I had hoped to try the DRC process as, I am very lucky to have the resources to build my own claim. I used Bethany who is a PA at Valor 4 Vets to do my DBQs for Rhinitis /Sinusitis, OSA and HTN. She also wrote IMOs for each with literature cited. The least as likely then not phrase is there for every condition. I'm happy to post if it will help anyone. I also wanted an IMO from a doc with a little stronger CV so I went with Dr Aniase, I know he's been talked about here and like others have said the service was great. Also he is a former lung transplant surgeon, who has focused a lot on OSA so I thought that was a good fit. He put together a solid 65 page letter with a lot of literature and medical rationale that OSA is make worse by Rhinitis and that HTN is made worse by OSA. He went on to say that sinusitis is only caused by rhinitis and pointed out the rationale for increased rhinitis. I of course had all of my private medical records. I took these to my local VFW service officer on 4/17. I had no problem doing the claim myself by a DRC claim has to be submitted by a VSO. She tried to discourage the DRC process as it shifts the responsibility to the Vet and the VSO. I get that but I already have everything and hopefully wont need additional exams as I have my DBQs. She relented and took all of my compiled paperwork to submit. Well shockingly while her cover letter asked it to be processed as a DRC, it wasn't uploaded to the DRC portal and is now showing as a regular pending claim. The OSA and HTN are re-opens. So I think i have a pretty bulletproof packet. What thoughts do you all have? Is there anything else I should do?
  7. Just saw on E-Benefits that my Sleep Apnea claim as secondary to PTSD was granted at 50%. For the Sleep Apnea: - No history of sleep issues while on active duty or in STRs - VA Psych requested sleep study, Sleep Study completed by VA-Outsoursed Hospital, Diag. w/mod. Sleep Apnea and issued a VA CPAP in May 2013. - My private Sleep/Pulminary Doc completed Sleep Apnea DBQ & wrote nexus letter stating "Based on my evaluation of the veteran, it is my opinion that it is at least as likely as not that Mr OEF21B's diagnosed OSA is aggravated by his service connected PTSD. I also feel that it is at least as likely as not that Mr OEF21B's PTSD is aggravated by his OSA." (17 JUL 15) Filed Sleep Apnea claim 28 JUL 15 - Sleep Apnea C&P in AUG 15 with the Veterans Evaluation Services (VES). Brought copy of DBQ and Nexus Letter as well as some of the articles linking PTSD & SA. I thought the C&P went well and the Dr. said that she would add the articles as well as my DBQ & Nexus letter to her final report. IMHO, I believe that my private doc's completion of a DBQ as well as his Nexus letter was key in meeting the requirement for service connection secondary to PTSD. I also believe that providing these along with the articles listed here in various places, and providing all of this to the C&P examiner helped. Semper Fi
  8. Hello all, I separated in 2007 and was awarded 80% for a number of things (listed below) after awards I have never made another claim. Since I got out I've used the VA for some care for my eyes and CPAP gear but not for everything as I have private insurance. Last month on Dec 21st I had a heart attack at 37 years old (turned 37 2 weeks before on Dec 11th) with 1 each 100% blockage requiring a stent. I was not on cholesterol or BP meds and I receive no disability for any cardio related issue. I had an electrocardiogram and my heart looks great with 100% function and my non VA cardiologist said I have to take plavix for a year and likely statins and BP meds for life but other than that no restrictions and no other damage. I read that OSA causes issues including heart attack but I have had high normal cholesterol since I was active duty (ldl 150ish, tri - 100+, hdl 40s, total 210+) and normal BP always. My questions are: 1 - Can I tie the MI event to OSA? And if so can it cause the MI even if my BP and Cholesterol are not really considered high? 2 - If I have 100% function and no damage is it worth the effort? disabilities Disability Rating left knee strain 0% left ankle strain status post talar break 10% right ankle strain 10% multi-level degenerative disc disease, thoracolumbar spine (claimed as lumbar and thoracic back conditions) 10% bilateral keratoconus 30% tinea versicolor 10% allergic rhinitis (also claimed as sinusitis), status post septo-rhinoplasty 10% tinnitus 10% central sleep apnea 50%
  9. Has anyone had any luck with claiming Sleep Apnea as secondary to Hypertension and/or Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease ? My husband has service connection for both hypertension and heart disease and now a current diagnosis and medical equipment for sleep apnea. I've read where VA has approved hypertension secondary to sleep apnea and heart disease secondary to sleep apnea, but not the other way around. If anyone has an archived VA citation in this regard, or personal experience, would greatly appreciate hearing about it. Thanks all.
  10. Is there a way I can service connect my diabetes and my sleep apnea. I have been suffering from sometimes severe back pain from a service related injury. How can I connect the two if was never mentioned in my service records. I injured my back while on a rotation at NTC. After injuring my back i was on a profile for the last 16months, before they Chaptered me for weight control (218lbs). Before my injury I never had a problem with my weight. when I finally got my c-file i learned that i was up for the MEB, but they chaptered me before that. Again, how can I sc diabetes and sleep apnea?
  11. HI, New here. Found the community through google. I'm still learning to navigate the site, so please bear with me. Searching got me in the right direction but not close enough. I was recently diagnosed with Service connected PTSD through the VA. I have not done a C&P exam yet. On the same day I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea through a VA sleep study. I've read that there is a slim chance to connect my sleep apnea as a secondary to my PTSD. My VA psych Dr said they aggrevate each other, but a pulmonologist opinion would have more power than his. I've seen some advice from other members talking about letter templates, DBQs and supporting articles. However, I haven't been able to find them here. I've scheduled a civilian Dr. appointment with a pulmonologist in about 2 week and would like to come prepared with any information I can. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Nova
  12. I applied for Sleep Apnea secondary to PTSD (Aggravation). I submitted a FDC on 9/17/17 with the following evidence Nexus Letter provided by my VA doctor stating " it is more likely than not Mr. xxxxx Sleep Apnea aggravates his PTSD and his PTSD aggravates his Sleep Apnea". DBQ filled out from my VA Pulmonologist stating "Veterans PTSD and Sleep Apnea is at least additive" VA Sleep Study showing Dx of Severe Sleep Apnea. Evidence showing prescribed CPAP from VA Statement in Support of Claim from Wife, and fellow NCO I served with observing my symptoms. 2 Studies providing link of Sleep Apnea and PTSD in returning Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran On Ebenefits my claim status went from Under Review to Preperation for decision without a C&P Exam scheduled. My question, is it possible I provided enough evidence to grant my claim? Or it is just being denied very quickly?
  13. I still active in the ARMY. Im been using my CPAP machine for more than a year. I got the machine because the ARMY send me to the hospital because I cant sleep. The hospital exam show that I have a moderate condition. The question is, Can I request another sleep study exam? If so, How long I have to wait? Maybe if my condition is worse I can get a 100% when I get retired.
  14. Thank You in advance! (First question after reviewing this book I wrote here should probably be, do i need to separate all of these questions into the different subject forums or is this OK ?) I've been procrastinating now for almost 10 years (mainly because of denial, I volunteered, tough guy, I know guys that seen/did worse and horror stories with the VA) and have just this year decided to attack this VA Claims Process. Putting it off for too long and ready to get the information needed to hopefully (fingers crossed) have a smooth process. I have not filed for anything, have no medical records or injuries documented while active or since (I have just requested my military records from the right place after all these years, because I assumed the VA would have them and keep them safe, so I didn't need a copy. MISTAKE #1, Naive I know) and have not been to see a private doctor for anything. I medicate with over the counter and always have, but have never been officially diagnosed with anything. Just last month I made an appointment with advice from an amazing local veteran group with a psychologist outside of the VA and she diagnosed me with PTSD. It was extremely hard to even talk to her, I've never talked to anyone about it just denied it or pushed it back. (I know I'll still need a VA exam). I was also seen by an outside, but VA referred hearing specialist and was diagnosed with tinnitus in the 3k range and hearing loss. 6 months after release from active duty in 2007 I was seen at the local VA for hemorrhoids and treated. I have had issues with roids, constipation, diarrhea etc ever since. This is also the only thing I have ever been seen for at the VA. My wife has also complained for years about sleep apnea and me startling her in the middle of the night when I sleep, should I get an evaluation for sleep apnea. She doesn't remember ifI did it when active or not, but does that matter for service connection ? I have already made the intent to file as of last month and am wondering how I should proceed from the above mentioned. I have not been seen for IBS, by any professional but it reads like that is a high possibility, so do I need a diagnosis from outside of the VA or should I get one prior to filing? Should I file IBS, if diagnosed under "presumptive illness" (BALAD IRAQ 2005-2006) ? Should I get on the Burn Pit or Gulf War Registry (Is there anything I should know prior to going to these registry appts) ? Should I file for PTSD with just an outside evaluation (How are stressors confirmed, all mine are personal accounts and encounters) ? Should I file for hearing loss or tinnitus or both I served as a firefighter and have read that as being on some list hearing related jobs ? And finally, Should I file for all of these now at one time or should I wait and do them individually ? My main concern is going into this and not being fully prepared, if there is anything you believe would aid in the above filings please let me know. I know there is a long road ahead, but I don't see any point in going alone and appreciate you all. Thanks again!
  15. What's up Fellow Vets, I am new to this site and I wanted to explain my case and get advise. I was medically discharged from the Army in 2004 due to a diagnosis of asthma (30% disability). I never had any kind of respiratory problems until I arrived in Germany in 2003. I started experiencing difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, excessive snoring, dry mouth, fatigue, ect. After several trips to the doctor and several tests, the Army doctors diagnosed me with having asthma. I never had asthma so all the symptoms i was experiencing were new to me. Fast forward to 2017, I was having trouble with the hormones in my body. I was experiencing ecessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, memory problems and loud snoring (ask my wife). After several tests and appointments, it was requested by my doctor that I have a sleep study performed. I didnt know why I would need this test but reluctantly, I agreed and took the test. After the test, I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea with an AHI 77.5. Moderate is 5 and severe is 10+. So it turns out that the symptoms i was experiencing while in the army were of both asthma and severe OSA. The doctors in the Army never even mentioned or tested me for sleep apnea. I had a DBQ done at the VA Hospital in which i am being treated. In the DBQ, the Dr states: a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's sleep disorder condition (brief summary): Veteran reports excessive daytime fatigue and sleepiness, unrefreshing sleep ,snoring and frequent awakening. He had a sleep study at Northport VAMC on 8/11/2017 whihc showed severe obstructive sleep apnea with AHI 77.5 events per hour. He had a CPAP titration study on 8/23/2017 which showed improvement to AHI of 12.9 events per hour. He just got his CPAP machine yesterday. As of now, he gets about 4 hours of sleep per night. He does not restorative sleep. He does find himself falling asleep during the day. Does the Veteran's sleep apnea impact his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe impact of the Veteran's sleep apnea, providing one or more examples: he is tired throughout the day. His poor sleep has led to foggy thinking and poor short term memory. I just went on ebenefits and submitted a claim for sleep apnea and Unemployability. Do you think i have a valid claim?
  16. What's up Fellow Vets, I am new to this site and I wanted to explain my case and get advise. I was medically discharged from the Army in 2004 due to a diagnosis of asthma (30% disability). I never had any kind of respiratory problems until I arrived in Germany in 2003. I started experiencing difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, excessive snoring, dry mouth, fatigue, ect. After several trips to the doctor and several tests, the Army doctors diagnosed me with having asthma. I never had asthma so all the symptoms i was experiencing were new to me. Fast forward to 2017, I was having trouble with the hormones in my body. I was experiencing ecessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, memory problems and loud snoring (ask my wife). After several tests and appointments, it was requested by my doctor that I have a sleep study performed. I didnt know why I would need this test but reluctantly, I agreed and took the test. After the test, I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea with an AHI 77.5. Moderate is 5 and severe is 10+. So it turns out that the symptoms i was experiencing while in the army were of both asthma and severe OSA. The doctors in the Army never even mentioned or tested me for sleep apnea. I had a DBQ done at the VA Hospital in which i am being treated. In the DBQ, the Dr states: a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's sleep disorder condition (brief summary): Veteran reports excessive daytime fatigue and sleepiness, unrefreshing sleep ,snoring and frequent awakening. He had a sleep study at Northport VAMC on 8/11/2017 whihc showed severe obstructive sleep apnea with AHI 77.5 events per hour. He had a CPAP titration study on 8/23/2017 which showed improvement to AHI of 12.9 events per hour. He just got his CPAP machine yesterday. As of now, he gets about 4 hours of sleep per night. He does not restorative sleep. He does find himself falling asleep during the day. Does the Veteran's sleep apnea impact his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe impact of the Veteran's sleep apnea, providing one or more examples: he is tired throughout the day. His poor sleep has led to foggy thinking and poor short term memory. I just went on ebenefits and submitted a claim for sleep apnea and Unemployability. Do you think i have a valid claim?
  17. I just had two C&P exams this morning and am trying to keep a positive mindset, but the glass looks half empty to me. Maybe someone else can offer some insight on my situation. Since April, I have been rated at 60%; 50% for PTSD and 10% for tinnitus. The claims process for those went pretty smoothly, really, and I was awarded my disability ratings in very short time. I have since then filed three additional claims. My intent to file was back in April, but I submitted the claims on July 25. These three claims are for hypertension secondary to PTSD, sleep apnea secondary to PTSD and for hearing loss. Today I had my C&P exams for the hearing loss and hypertension. I have heard nothing about scheduling a C&P for the sleep apnea. My first exam this morning was for hypertension. I was diagnosed with hypertension, by a private doctor, about 4 years ago and have been on medication since then and am currently being treated by the VA for my hypertension. My hypertension isn't very severe, but it is outside of normal parameters and has been this way consistently for quite a few years. Even though I wasn't officially diagnosed until 2013, I have (and submitted) evidence of prior medical records that show high blood pressure readings well before my actual diagnosis. I don't think I meet the criteria for anything more than a 0% rating, but that's all I really want, or need. I believe I have bradycardia (abnormally low pulse), as a result of my high blood pressure. My blood pressure has always fluctuated and spiked in relation to my PTSD symptoms, so I certainly think the PTSD aggravates my blood pressure, but I don't feel good about my C&P exam from this morning. The doctor was one of the weirdest people I've come across at the VA, so it was hard to get a good read on him. All he did was take my blood pressure 3, or maybe 4, times, all from my right arm, while I was seated. He wanted to know when I was first diagnosed and how many times they had taken my blood pressure during the visit in which I was diagnosed. I told him it was in 2013 and, although I didn't recall how many times they took a blood pressure reading, I did remember how high it was when I was diagnosed. I tried to discuss the evidence I had submitted to support my having actually had high blood pressure before my 2013 diagnosis, but he shut me down. He said anything that I sent in with my claim wasn't his concern. All he was doing was "checking the boxes" on my blood pressure exam and someone else would look at everything that was submitted. This doesn't make sense to me. Isn't the purpose of the C&P exam to look at the evidence, as well render an opinion? I have already been diagnosed with hypertension and am receiving treatment. I'm guessing my blood pressure readings from the C&P exam are within normal parameters...that's what the medication is for. I don't understand the point of putting me through this dog and pony show, but I certainly didn't walk out of there feeling good about it. Next, I had my audiology exam for my hearing loss claim. I just had a audiology exam a little less than 2 months ago from a VA contractor and was subsequently issued hearing aids from the VA about a month ago. As I mentioned earlier, I already receive compensation for tinnitus, so part of me feels like the VA has already conceded that I had sufficient noise exposure in-service to cause damage, but I have also heard of people winning on tinnitus and losing on hearing loss. Since I had just recently had an audiology exam, I was only given an abbreviated C&P exam for my hearing. The audiologist stated that the contractor had not "submitted a full report", or something to that effect, so she only needed to do a partial test today. She asked me a little about my in-service noise exposure, as well as about my civilian occupations. It was over pretty quickly. I didn't feel quite as bad, or confused about that one as the hypertension C&P, but both of them seemed rushed and indifferent. When I got home, I logged in to eBenefits to check on something unrelated and decided to look at my claim status. It had gone from Gathering Evidence to Preparation for Decision, since the last time I had checked on it. How could it be in Preparation for Decision? Mind you, I just had two C&P exams a couple of hours before. There is no way those reports had been sent in and considered already, so it had to have moved to Preparation for Decision a day, or more ago. Since I have not been scheduled for a C&P exam for my SA secondary to PTSD, I suspect now that they don't plan to give me an exam for the sleep apnea. The fact that they'd already moved my claim to Preparation for Decision before my exams leaves me with the impression that my claims are doomed to denial. Realistically, both the hypertension and hearing loss should each be rated at 0%, so that won't get me an increase in disability pay anyway, but a positive decision on the SA would. I also need the 0% ones, though, because of their relationship to other problems I have. I'm a little confused by all of this and am certainly not feeling hopeful about my prospects at this point. Am I jumping to conclusion prematurely, or am I making a reasonable conclusion that things aren't going my way? It's been less than 30 days since my claims were filed and it's already been moved to Preparation for Decision before my C&P exams. I don't know what that means, but it doesn't seem good.
  18. After failing a sleep private study and required to sleep with a CPAP machine and meds, my private psychiatrist wrote me a NEXUS letter linking the sleep apnea as secondary to the PTSD. Also I had my Dr fill out a DBQ also linking them together. I have been waiting on them to send me info on when to go to a C&P exam but nothing yet. So I called my Veterans Services Rep and they looked it up and said they see where the information has been sent out for a medical opinion. any idea if this means NO C&P or if they are looking info to see if they will even schedule one? thanks!
  19. Hello everyone, I served in OIF at the onset of the war from 3/2003 - 4/2004 as a front line medic.I also did a tour in 2008. I am currently 70% PTSD/Major Depression, 20% Cervical Radiculopathy and receiving 100% IU P & T as of 5/2013 but have been receiving 100% IU for my PTSD since 2/2010 . I also receive 80% CRSC for both of those conditions since 2013. I was denied service connection for asthma/COPD and Sleep Apnea. Since 2013 new information, and I assume evidence, has come out to establish burn pits as a cause for COPD and that sleep apnea can be a secondary condition to PTSD. My question is 1. Should I attempt to get these two conditions service connected with the goal of a 100% scheduler rating rather than IU or will that most likely adversely effect what I have now? 2. Is sleep apnea secondary to PTSD and COPD linked to burn pits, combat related? So I can keep my CRSC or possibly get it increased?
  20. I filed my first claim and recently received va decision. 10% awarded for tinnitus, sleep apnea denied, wrist tenosynovitis denied, and hearing loss denied. I have county VSO but I know they are very busy and want to put paperwork in good order before I file the NOD with them. I was only given audio exam from VA but no other exam. I retired from the Air National Guard and have twenty years of service. The service history is convoluted but I have all the records involved 3 DD214's (Active Duty Army and Air Force), Title 10 orders for (Air Guard), and NGB22 (Air Guard and Army Guard). My career was Infantry to start and Flightline Avionics for the latter part. I have my Air Force medical records. What I don't have is my Army medical records covering Active Duty Army (including initial entrance exam) and Army National Guard. Somehow Army records never crossed over into the Air Force but I located (after many requests) the records in MO and have requested 8 months ago. The recently confirmed that received the request but said it would be about 2 more months...I was not able to provide any Army medial records with my initial claim. I have request my C-file last week by fax and certified mail so hopefully I will receive soon. Just wondering what else I should be doing while I wait for those records to show up. Sleep apnea: The denial letter stating the sleep study date was wrong, I had it 10 years previous to the date they mentioned. So I figure I would point that out first thing. Also believe I will have evidence in Army medical records to back up the claim but there is the waiting game. Wrist Tenosynovitis: For this I have complaints on webHA and civilian medical records but it was aggravated by fall from helicopter. Stupidly I did not file an incident report, wrist hurt but also was embarrassed and just want to "shrug it off". I did have witness and maybe I could get lay statements....but this was also preexisting condition, but also aggravated by regular flightline work. Hearing Loss: I was told that I that I have left ear hearing loss but i didn't show service connection. I remember being told by Army medical on exam that I had hearing loss related to gunfire and that "I would want to keep these records.". I was very young at the time and was ignored it but now those are the records in MO that I am waiting on. I was also recently diagnosed with severe and recurring depression and prescribed medication and have long history of diagnosed sleep disorder and medication. I don't know weather to purse these as separate claims or as part of sleep apnea, which are symptoms. I do qualify for both gulf war exam and burn pit registry exam due to Kuwait deployment I and am wondering what the difference between those two are and if they are worth pursuing? I had throat surgery for diverticulum and diagnosed with barretts esophagus that could be related as well as forest fires in Idaho (Army) as well as fires during LA riots (Army Guard) and breathed in massive amounts of dust driving personal carrier in Mohave desert during 4 Ft. Irwin rotations. Once all my C-file and Army medical records show up I was considering going to the Ellis Clinic for exam and report to file with NOD...I figure I could fly out and pay for exam less than $1000 and was wondering if anybody else thought it was worth it? Sorry, that is a lot info to throw out there but I'm trying to figure my way through this claim process and would just appreciate any advice form the community. Thanks!
  21. This probably could have helped me out to know this sooner instead of being dx with insomnia now there are saying a tested positive for sleep apnea. Are these related? I know nothing of what this is other then usually you snore is a sign. The doctor said in two weeks their coming out here to put in a cpap machine and to fit test me. just when I think I'm done filing something else pops up.... Life
  22. Hello folks! I have recently submitted a claim with the VA to reopen my previously denied PTSD, depression diabetes and sleep apnea secondary to pain, medications, weight gain and depression and TBI and TBI residuals with headaches. I got a call yesterday from VES and I have never heard of them. Anyone have input on them? It looks like the only C&P they ordered was for TBI. Any reason why they wouldn't ask for a C&P for the other claimed conditions? Thanks for any and all help!
  23. Good day all. Hopefully I can explain this clearly without confusion. I received my BBE in Sep 16, and immediately filed for a NOD with more evidence (related to neurological issues/damages). However, I am 0% service connected with sleep disturbances/sleep apnea. Recently, as in two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with apnea and required to wear and was given a CPAP. Long story short, my claim is with the DRO for appeal and review, and although I am not contesting/appealing the sleep apnea for increase, I have the necessary medical evidence including the VA form for sleep apnea completed by my sleep physician/dr stating my condition as well as the results of my sleep studies. How should I submit it? Should it be a file for increase, or submit it as I would with additional medical evidence to the evidence intake center to be reviewed by the DRO along with the other evidence submitted for the conditions I am actually appealing? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much. Also, to make sure that I have the correct fax number and address, could you include that as well. That would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks all.
  24. Hi, I am a 30 year retired vet. I retired 13 years ago. I as recently diagnosed with "very severe" obstructive sleep apnea. The machine they gave me is preset on the highest output flow. My episode exceed 35 times an hour with some lasting more than 30 seconds. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea a couple of years prior to retirement and the study and diagnosis is documented in my record. In fact, they wanted to operate on my uvula. There lies the rub. The operation could have ended my career so I didn't persue. Additionally, while on active duty I developed severe chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis and this also is documented in my service health record. I have been living with this and chalking it down to getting old. Fast forward...I recently got a machine that they say I have to wear for the remainder of my life. I just learned that Tricare Prime does not pay for it all. So, I researched online and submitted a claim the E-benefits and it has been received and was under review until today when they changed this to "gathering of evidence" Development Letter Sent. Does anyone know what this means? What do I have to look forward to concerning the process. I watch the news. It doesn't look good, right? thanks in advance.
  25. Hello, Army OIF/OEF vet here. In 10/2015 I initially filed for claims with little/no evidence. Most were of course denied. Through appeals I am now at 40% SC for IBS and tinnitus. I appealed my anxiety denial and was given a C&P exam in 06/2016, fast forward to 01/2017 and the VA sends me an SOC along with the VA form 9. I hired Vet Comp and Pen to help me gather supporting documents. (I think they did an excellent job) and submitted my VA for 9 along with new documents (02/2017) and waived my hearing before the BVA to help expedite things. Much to my surprise I was told I should still expect to wait about a year or so for the BVA's decision. In the meantime I have been developing a FDC for sleep apnea. Should I go ahead and file it even though the BVA currently has my anxiety claim or should I wait until it is decided? Thanks, and hopefully my post wasn't too lengthy.
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