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HowIWish

PTSD and OSA- filing at the same time?

Question

Well, my husband finally has an appointment just to see a VA doctor, so we're getting somewhere. I can't find a solid answer to this question, but I'm still building my search skills on this forum!

 

My husband was first diagnosed with PTSD. Then he gained weight from the meds. His snoring became unbearable so he then had a sleep study. He was diagnosed with OSA and has been compliant with his CPAP for 3 years.

He was then diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in June. He is going to have to take a medical reitrement from his job and he has finally given up the fight and is filing for VA disability.

My question is this- all of his diagnoses up to this point have been in private healthcare. He has an appointment next week to see a GP at the VA. They told him today to think of all the referrals he will need when he sees the GP so he can get them all at once.

Should he go ahead and see a sleep doctor at the VA? He has gained 35 pounds just since July from the new bipolar medication. He needs a new sleep study anyway because the weight gain has caused him to start snoring through his mask. I'm an RRT, so I know he needs new settings! :)

I am not sure if he should continue to see his private sleep doctor until he gets approved at the VA for his PTSD, or if he should go ahead and file both claims simultaneously. He also has GERD from he weight gain and as a side effect from his medication. So should he really schedule all of those appointments at his very first appointment with the VA GP?

Also, he did snore before his PTSD, and some of his buddies complained about it when they were in foxholes in Iraq. Should he get buddy letters and file the OSA as being exacerbated by the weight gain and meds, or as a new secondary condition due to the mental health meds? His OSA diagnosis didn't come until after he was actually taking PTSD meds.

Thank you!

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The question of whether to file claims simultaneously or wait on one, depends on whether you need money or not.  

Remember, your effective date wont be earlier than the date you apply.  So, if you apply later, and if benefits are awarded, you will be giving up your benefits for x months that you delay filing.  The longer you wait to file, the more it costs you.  The VA would prefer if you wait indefinately, and never get around to it.  

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We've already put in his intent to file, and we definitely need the money! He will be losing 2/3 of his pay very shortly because he has to take a medical retirement and we have 5 kids. So that answers my question! Thank you! 

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