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Starting A New Claim



I apologize if this is not the correct place to post this, I am trying to clear my head enough to start a new claim. I know it will take probably 2 years or more, but I would like someone with experience to chime in. I have been Dx'ed for sleep apnea. I have been reading some post (berta,Carlie) about IMO and when to use the IMO. (after the C&P exam is what I am thinking). The C&P examiners report could be presented to the Doctor/IMO along with pertinent medical records from VA, to counter a bad C&P. I have been discharged from the Army since 2005. I presented a claim for ptsd in 2006, and was granted it about 9 months later. I know the VA is backlogged,so being realistic, I understand it will take some time just to get a C&P exam. My question and confusion comes from this being claimed as a secondary condition. I have been told that Gastro conditions (GERD) could be the underlying cause of SA or vice versa. I was never seen on sick call for sleepiness or SA while in the Army. I also have done a little research on my own and understand that some side effects of ptsd medication could exacerbate or aggravate this condition. I have a cpap machine, that I try to us, however, I sometimes take it off in the middle of the night because of bad dreams, and or because of my burning stomach (GERD, esophagitis, This is a claim that is at AMC now) I know there is a form to initiate a claim, however, what should I say it is secondary to? Both conditions? I called the AMC today and was told that my claim,which was remanded there in july was with the Raters now. If anyone knows how long the raters take that would be great. The other side of this claim which I feel doubtful about is, if the AMC denies my GERD claim, SA is also a known cause for GERD. So they are intertwined. I just would like to know which Avenue I should take. I dont have another appointment with the Neuro Doc till March, and that is when I was going to "pop" the question. Could you provide me with an IMO to submit to the VA to support my claim for SA? FWIW, I am not overweight, my BMI is at 23 %.

Thanks for any info,comments and guidance.

Edited by qwiksting (see edit history)
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Are you diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, or mixed? Knowing which type you have been diagnosed with is important when deciding how or what it should be secondary to.

Best regards,

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you will need a nexus letter from your doctor stating that the disabilities you are claiming are secondary to sleep apnea. I personally have never heard of sleep apnea causing GERD? Not saying it's not possible, I'm not a doctor.

if you file an additional claim, file a VA FM 21-526ez and provide all supporting documentation. These claims are taking 90 days or less.

When I have a veteran that visits me in the office and wants to do a re-evaluation, or submit a new disability, the first question I ask the vet if they are over 70%, I tell them that they are opening their claim in its entirity. If you have disabilities that have not been looked at or recorded, it is possible that the va, could reduce what you all ready have. I have seen this on more than a few occassions.

If you have a claim pending, one of the worst things you can do is submit an additional claim. Wait until your rating decision comes back. If there is something you want a reconsideration or you submit a notice of disagreement, then you can submit your claim all together at that time.

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I actually do believe sleep apnea causes GERD, and I think there are one or two studies to support that.

My belief is rooted in my first hand experience, I had horrible heartburn and acid reflux until I was diagnosed with SA and put on a CPAP. Those problems were gone in about 3 months after CPAP therapy (but I always use my CPAP the whole night - otherwise I don't sleep).

My experience, others may differ.

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Hey 71M10, I can appreciate your personal experience however I have been DX'ed with sleep apnea in 1992 sever complex and put on BiPap was told was most sever case she had ever seen in her 25 yrs of doing sleep studies and was suprised I wasn't in the nut house or having heart trouble, she also said I probably had it since my twenties. That would have put it when I was in Alaska with 4/9th Inf. spending every other month in the field most times -20 f to -88 f and where I suffered cold weather injuries I'm still dealing with today. I'm now 56 yrs obese (when in svc was extreamily fit when Dx'ed 36 yr old over weight slightly now T/P on SSDI for two years due to other problems ) And 14 years later DX'ed with GERD only thing I still to this day I do not feel it, have start of barrett's. Also the Obstructive part is a very large tongue only, all the rest central. I now also have a serve case of peripheral polyneuropathy which is the main reason I'm T/P now. Just some more personal insight on S/A

Hope this helps Rich!biggrin.png

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