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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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blackwizard

New Here & Need Advice...

Question

Hi,

I have a few concerns in regards to claiming compensation.

A little background:

I'm in the reserves, and recently returned from deployment late last year. I was activated for 1 year.

4 months after being released from Active Duty and back on Reserve status, I went to a private doctor because of pain I was having in my right ankle and left knee. The Dr. discovered I had flat feet, which was causing the pain...

While I was there, I asked her about some sleeping issues I have been experiencing for the past year. Waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air, feeling tired in the mornings, etc. She reccommended me to have a Sleep Study done, which I did. The results were: Sleep Apnea, w/need of a CPAP machine.

My question is: How do I go about in filing this for compensation? I read I should make a claim w/in the 1 year of release from active duty. (It has not been 1 yr yet).

I never complained while overseas regarding the sleep apnea (or my feet), but that is where I was first aware of the problem. The fellows that shared quarters with me, on numerous occasions told me I snored very loud. Once I returned home, my wife again brought it to my attention of the snoring, and she noticed I had moments where she'd hear a pause in my breathing. She also wakes me up at times when I stop breathing in my sleep.

I never had this problem before activating, and I'm still unsure what caused it.

I'd like to get any help or advice on how to go about this.

Thank you.

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5 answers to this question

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Hi,

I have a few concerns in regards to claiming compensation.

A little background:

I'm in the reserves, and recently returned from deployment late last year. I was activated for 1 year.

4 months after being released from Active Duty and back on Reserve status, I went to a private doctor because of pain I was having in my right ankle and left knee. The Dr. discovered I had flat feet, which was causing the pain...

While I was there, I asked her about some sleeping issues I have been experiencing for the past year. Waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air, feeling tired in the mornings, etc. She reccommended me to have a Sleep Study done, which I did. The results were: Sleep Apnea, w/need of a CPAP machine.

My question is: How do I go about in filing this for compensation? I read I should make a claim w/in the 1 year of release from active duty. (It has not been 1 yr yet).

I never complained while overseas regarding the sleep apnea (or my feet), but that is where I was first aware of the problem. The fellows that shared quarters with me, on numerous occasions told me I snored very loud. Once I returned home, my wife again brought it to my attention of the snoring, and she noticed I had moments where she'd hear a pause in my breathing. She also wakes me up at times when I stop breathing in my sleep.

I never had this problem before activating, and I'm still unsure what caused it.

I'd like to get any help or advice on how to go about this.

Thank you.

If I were you, I would go to the nearest VA Hospital and see someone in the OIF/OEF clinic there. Tell them your symptoms, and, if possible, take a statement from your private doctor stating what he/she thinks may be the cause. If possible, get the doctor to state that he/she considers it likely that your disabilities had their origin in service. I think most VA hospitals have representatives of service organizations on site that can help you file your claim. You should get it filed as soon as possible, and the VA will take it from there. Good luck.

If I'm missing anything important, I'm sure Larry J, Carlie, Pete992, Berta, or JBasser (or many others) will be around to correct me soon. They are great at this stuff, and I am pretty new at it.

Edited by JustPLS

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I never complained while overseas regarding the sleep apnea (or my feet), but that is where I was first aware of the problem. The fellows that shared quarters with me, on numerous occasions told me I snored very loud

While on active duty did you complain of any condition?

Can you get buddy statements from the guys you shared quarters with while on active duty?

Since you are back on reserve status can you get a copy of your medical records from active duty to see what is in them?

Have you had a Sleep Study Evaluation Consult/Exam? This is not a sleep study, this is when you see a specialist that examines you and explains your sleep study and why you have sleep apnea.

Edited by pete992

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While on active duty did you complain of any condition?

Can you get buddy statements from the guys you shared quarters with while on active duty?

Since you are back on reserve status can you get a copy of your medical records from active duty to see what is in them?

Have you had a Sleep Study Evaluation Consult/Exam? This is not a sleep study, this is when you see a specialist that examines you and explains your sleep study and why you have sleep apnea.

I can definitely get buddy statements. As for my records, I never complained about the sleep issue I was having, nor of my ankle/knee pain. I wasn't aware of the sleep problem, other than people telling me about my snoring and breathing...

I have done the sleep study, which my Dr. referred me to. I have yet to meet back with the doctor to go over the results. However, at the sleep study, the technician there informed me of my sleep apnea and the need of a CPAP. I will be meeting with my Dr. soon to go over the results, etc.

Is there another specialist I need to go to, or just my Dr.?

In regard to my flat feet, my Dr. wrote me a prescription for customized insoles. She referred me to a Certified Orthotist.

Should I see a foot specialist or stick with my Dr. on this issue?

Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

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If I were you, I would go to the nearest VA Hospital and see someone in the OIF/OEF clinic there. Tell them your symptoms, and, if possible, take a statement from your private doctor stating what he/she thinks may be the cause. If possible, get the doctor to state that he/she considers it likely that your disabilities had their origin in service. I think most VA hospitals have representatives of service organizations on site that can help you file your claim. You should get it filed as soon as possible, and the VA will take it from there. Good luck.

If I'm missing anything important, I'm sure Larry J, Carlie, Pete992, Berta, or JBasser (or many others) will be around to correct me soon. They are great at this stuff, and I am pretty new at it.

Thank you for your reply! I will try to get a statement from my Dr. at my next appointment.

If I file within the 1 year mark of discharge, does it make the process go smoother?

As soon as I gather all the info from my private doctor regarding my sleep apnea & flat feet, I will go to a VA clinic.

Thanks again! I really appreciate it.

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Honestly, I can't say how this will end up. To be granted service connection you will need three thing:

1. A condition that began in service with proof (normally medical evidence) But you have Buddy statements that may work, not sure.

2. A current disability

3. A nexus statement connecting your current disability to the condition/disability you had while on active service.

I think the best thing you can do is to get your buddy statements as soon as possible and take them to the sleep specialist not your primary care and see if the sleep specialist will write you a letter based on your buddy statements, It's called an IMO and normally the doctor that writes an IMO would review medical records. Since you do not have any I just don't know. Maybe someone else will chime in.

As Always Hope the Best

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