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Sleep Apnea


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I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (50%), my CPAC was destroyed. I went to the VA to get a replacement. They are saying that I need another Sleep Study done to measure the amount of air needed for the CPAC. I'm worried that they may come back and say I don't have Sleep Apnea and take away my 50% rating... Question: Can they take away my Service Connected rating of 50% for Obstructive Sleep Apnea that I've had for over ten years? I'm 100%, but not Total and Permanent.

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Well if they do another sleep study and they say you no longer have Sleep Apnea, they may or may not take it away  chances are   they Your R.O. Gets word of it  you will more than likely get reduced...for the S.A.

But wait and see if you still have it ? it could be worse that the 50% the sleep study will show that  or it maybe the same as you was.&YOU WILL KEEP THE 50%

you can appeal if they send you a proposal to reduce.

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The answer to this question is NO. Sleep Apnea does not improve without surgery and it is progressive if untreated or you use only CPAP or a dental mandible device. There is no way they can reverse your disability. You should be retested every 5 years and machines only last 5 years before they become risky to use. Get your new sleep test and ask for a new machine. 

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You can be reduced if your disabilities "actually improve under ordinary conditions of life".  

Had/have you been actually USING your cpap (until it got destroyed)?

Yes, the symptoms of sleep apnea can improve, such as with weight loss.  Source:

https://www.sleepcareonline.com/articles/does-sleep-apnea-ever-go-away/#:~:text=Can You Ever be Cured,the gold standard for treatment.

You probably will always have sleep apnea, but VA, even tho a diagnosis is required, bases compensation on SYMPTOMS.  

So, if your symptoms improve, say with weight loss, the VA can reduce you "provided that" you meet the criteria for reduction, explained below:

Quote
§ 3.344 Stabilization of disability evaluations.

(a) Examination reports indicating improvement. Rating agencies will handle cases affected by change of medical findings or diagnosis, so as to produce the greatest degree of stability of disability evaluations consistent with the laws and Department of Veterans Affairs regulations governing disability compensation and pension. It is essential that the entire record of examinations and the medical-industrial history be reviewed to ascertain whether the recent examination is full and complete, including all special examinations indicated as a result of general examination and the entire case history. This applies to treatment of intercurrent diseases and exacerbations, including hospital reports, bedside examinations, examinations by designated physicians, and examinations in the absence of, or without taking full advantage of, laboratory facilities and the cooperation of specialists in related lines. Examinations less full and complete than those on which payments were authorized or continued will not be used as a basis of reduction. Ratings on account of diseases subject to temporary or episodic improvement, e.g., manic depressive or other psychotic reaction, epilepsy, psychoneurotic reaction, arteriosclerotic heart disease, bronchial asthma, gastric or duodenal ulcer, many skin diseases, etc., will not be reduced on any one examination, except in those instances where all the evidence of record clearly warrants the conclusion that sustained improvement has been demonstrated. Ratings on account of diseases which become comparatively symptom free (findings absent) after prolonged rest, e.g. residuals of phlebitis, arteriosclerotic heart disease, etc., will not be reduced on examinations reflecting the results of bed rest. Moreover, though material improvement in the physical or mental condition is clearly reflected the rating agency will consider whether the evidence makes it reasonably certain that the improvement will be maintained under the ordinary conditions of life. When syphilis of the central nervous system or alcoholic deterioration is diagnosed following a long prior history of psychosis, psychoneurosis, epilepsy, or the like, it is rarely possible to exclude persistence, in masked form, of the preceding innocently acquired manifestations. Rating boards encountering a change of diagnosis will exercise caution in the determination as to whether a change in diagnosis represents no more than a progression of an earlier diagnosis, an error in prior diagnosis or possibly a disease entity independent of the service-connected disability. When the new diagnosis reflects mental deficiency or personality disorder only, the possibility of only temporary remission of a super-imposed psychiatric disease will be borne in mind.

(b) Doubtful cases. If doubt remains, after according due consideration to all the evidence developed by the several items discussed in paragraph (a) of this section, the rating agency will continue the rating in effect, citing the former diagnosis with the new diagnosis in parentheses, and following the appropriate code there will be added the reference “Rating continued pending reexamination ___ months from this date, § 3.344.” The rating agency will determine on the basis of the facts in each individual case whether 18, 24 or 30 months will be allowed to elapse before the reexamination will be made.

(c) Disabilities which are likely to improve. The provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section apply to ratings which have continued for long periods at the same level (5 years or more). They do not apply to disabilities which have not become stabilized and are likely to improve. Reexaminations disclosing improvement, physical or mental, in these disabilities will warrant reduction in rating.

Its actually very difficult for VA to reduce you, but they can do so if your disablities have actually improved under ordinary conditions of life.

Before the VA can reduce you they will need to send you a "sixty day notice" of proposed reduction:

Edited by broncovet (see edit history)
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The VA cannot reduce a veteran's rating based on one C & P exam. The VA would have to prove that the veteran's symptoms has improved. Even if the VA send the veteran a proposed letter to reduce the veteran can still request a hearing and fight the proposal. 

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9 hours ago, pacmanx1 said:

Even if the VA send the veteran a proposed letter to reduce the veteran can still request a hearing and fight the proposal. 

and get IMO to fight their exam....probably your best weapon if you get a letter saying they want to decrease-show why your condition hasnt improved with medical evidence!

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