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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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Jonathan AF

Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD

Question

Posted (edited)

I recently did a home study from the VA, and my results are as follows (see attached):

 

Min SpO2: 78.0%

Total RDI: 50.2

Findings: Snoring & Obstructive apneas/hypoapneas

Impression: OSA (G47.33) ("severe" is handwritten next to this).

They set me up with a CPAP machine to wear each night.

I am currently 30% rated for PTSD.  Based on this, can anyone tell what my rating would be filing sleep apnea as secondary to PTSD?

Edited by Jonathan AF
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5 hours ago, Jonathan AF said:

I recently did a home study from the VA, and my results are as follows:

 

Min SpO2: 78.0%

Total RDI: 50.2

Findings: Snoring & Obstructive apneas/hypoapneas

Impression: OSA (G47.33) ("severe" is handwritten next to this).

They set me up with a CPAP machine to wear each night.

I am currently 30% rated for PTSD.  Based on this, can anyone tell what my rating would be filing sleep apnea as secondary to PTSD?

Welcome to Hadit Jonathan,

Getting Sleep Apnea secondary to PTSD is very hard to prove, but it can be done with a lot of work. I have been trying since 2015 with no luck. @doc25has posted a lot of very good information on the subject, so do a search. 

Do you have a Doctor's statement (nexus) that they are connected? The VA still believes that OSA is caused by being overweight and neck size, which is not a disability.

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10 hours ago, Patton said:

Welcome to Hadit Jonathan,

Getting Sleep Apnea secondary to PTSD is very hard to prove, but it can be done with a lot of work. I have been trying since 2015 with no luck. @doc25has posted a lot of very good information on the subject, so do a search. 

Do you have a Doctor's statement (nexus) that they are connected? The VA still believes that OSA is caused by being overweight and neck size, which is not a disability.

Well, the meds I'm on for PTSD do cause weight gain.  Also, studies do show that OSA can be caused by PTSD.  I am sure a C&P exam would say "Just as likely as not".

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Some BVA cases you may find helpful

Because the Board is granting in full the claim of entitlement to service connection for obstructive sleep apnea as secondary to PTSD, any procedural deficiency is not prejudicial to the Veteran. ... The Veteran claims entitlement to service connection for obstructive sleep apnea as secondary to his service-connected PTSD.
 
 
Here are just a few 
REMANDED Entitlement to service connection for a right knee disability is remanded. Entitlement to service connection for sleep apnea is remanded. Entitlement to service connection for gum disease is
 
disorder (PTSD) is denied. Entitlement to an increased rating of 70 percent but no higher for PTSD is granted. REMANDED Entitlement to service connection for sleep apnea secondary to PTSD is remanded.
 
his intent to seek compensation for sleep apnea secondary to PTSD. He has also reported that symptoms of snoring and disrupted sleep first began in service. STRs are negative for diagnosis or treatment
 
1131, 5103, 5103A (2012); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303 (2017). 2. The service-connection criteria for sleep apnea, secondary to PTSD, are met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1131, 5107(b) (2012); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102,
 
Accordingly, the issue of entitlement to TDIU is referred to the AOJ for appropriate action. Service Connection for Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD The Veteran contends that his sleep apnea is caused
 
to his sleep apnea. In June 2016, the Board issued a decision that denied service connection for sleep apnea, to include as secondary to service-connected PTSD and TBI. The Veteran appealed this decision
 
7105 (2012); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.104 (a), 3.156, 3.160(d), 20.302 (2018). 3. The criteria for service connection for sleep apnea, to include as secondary to PTSD, have been met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1131, 5103,
 
for sleep apnea secondary to service-connected PTSD have been met. ORDER Entitlement to service connection for sleep apnea, secondary to PTSD is granted. MICHAEL
 
for sleep apnea, to include as secondary to service-connected PTSD. 3. Entitlement to service connection for irritable bowel syndrome, to include as secondary to service-connected PTSD. 4. Entitlement
 
THE ISSUE Entitlement to service connection for obstructive sleep apnea, to include as secondary to service-connected posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). REPRESENTATION Veteran represented by: Veterans
 
 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jonathan AF said:

Well, the meds I'm on for PTSD do cause weight gain.  Also, studies do show that OSA can be caused by PTSD.  I am sure a C&P exam would say "Just as likely as not".

It can be done, as there are a number of people on here who has been awarded OSA as a secondary to PTSD. Please do your research and find out what has worked and what has not as far as being awarded OSA as a secondary. It is not a open and shut case. You can be in a long hard fight.

I have been denied twice now. The first time I file the claim, somebody had told me to file it as being directly service connected because I had a number of sleep issues in the Military and the Doctors did not know what Sleep Apnea was back in the mid 1980's. The second time I filed it as secondary to persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) with anxious distress (which is PTSD). The C&P examiner stated that there is no Medical evidences that links Depression / Anxiety with OSA. I thought this time I had all the evidences I needed, since it was a VA MH Doctor who sent me to the sleep study (due to my issues during Military Service) and the VA issued me the CPAP. Boy was I wrong.

I will file again but this time I will be armed with all the information needed to win my claim. I have read a number of BVA decisions (like the one Tbird posted), Research Documentation and the 38 CFR. Now I will start building a relationship with a Private Sleep Doctor in hope he will write a Nexus letter along with the DBQ. 

Best of luck!

Edited by Patton
changed wording.

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