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Sleep Apnea

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Clarence

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Hello Vets!

I read on one website concerning Sleep Apnea that in accordance with VA Adjudication Manual M21-1, Part III, subpart iv, chapter 4, Section D updated April 18, 2016; There is no longer the requirement to have been diagnosed with SA prior to leaving the military to receive a rating.

First, I looked at the cited manual and Section D, does not pertain to Respiratory issues, Section F does. So I'm just looking for clarification.

 

Clarence

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I'm not sure what you are asking. If you looked it up in m21-1,  that's the answer. Did you have OSA in the service and it is in your files? Do you have it now i.e. a valid diagnosis? You need a doc to say that you MUST have a CPAP machine to get the 50% rating. If you didn't have it diagnosed while in, how long after discharge was it ? It is not an easy claim if you were not diagnosed while in service. It is also possible as a secondary due to meds taken for a service connected disability.

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I had SA while in the service but it was never diagnosed. 

21 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

It is not an easy claim if you were not diagnosed while in service.

As GB states it is very hard to get it service connected but it can be done. I retired in 1995 and was medically diagnosed with SA in 2015, after several reconsideration and higher level reviews the BVA granted me SC. I had submitted two IMOs, several buddy letters, a personal statement in order to get mine approved. It can be done, it just takes a lot of work and patience.

Secondary SC may be an easier route to go if you can qualify.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Now Days its possible to service connect OSA aka Sleep Apnea.

to a Already Service connected condition, you just need a Dr to Nexus the two that the S.C. Condition you have is likely as not  caused & related to your s.c. condition you have at present   to  OSA (Sleep Apnea) and this veteran is prescribe a C-PAP Machine by qualified Dr as he has been diagnose for MILD TO SERVER OSA (Sleep Apnea)And it is medically Necessary this Veteran use this C-pap nightly.

They (these sleep Dr's OR Sleep specialist can go into details about the medication your taking that can cause OSA.

If you can get a Qualified Dr to state the above  or close to it  you will win your sleep apnea Claim  and just the use of a C-pap machine warrants a 50% rating  then the severity of your OSA even possible get the 100%.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Paul, as you said it was approved 20 years after your discharge. That really is quit something. You must really have worked long and hard to finally get that baby to come home!

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GB I did. I had two different sleep studies and IMOs from each doctor, I paid $450 for one of them to write it. I had a buddy letter from my old boss, and one from my ex-wife and adult daughter as well as me explaining my symptoms that I had in service. I had a lot of no’s before I got the yes. All I can say if you believe in your disability then keep after it. No one is more passionate and tireless than the vet who it benefits. 

But like you and Buck say above, it’s easier as a secondary.

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 I was awarded a claim for sleep apnea in Jan 2017, this was 31 years after I retired from the Army.  It was not a hard process. I was originally diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2012.  I finally put my claim  in in 2017. I did pay for an Independent Medical Opinion from  DR. Anise, but it was not needed.  The C/P examiner indicated  that my medical history alone indicated that it was more likely than not that my sleep apnea was secondary to my Asthma/COPD. 

This was not the first time a C/P was conducted by a VA employee that ruled in my favor, both times the examiners were retired military.

 The only evidence other than my two sleep  studies was a statement from my wife indicating the she would wake me at night even when I was only 20 years old because I would stop breathing . 

 I must admit I had two C/P examinations the first one was a ACE exam where I was not even notified of the exam, and   I was denied service connection.  I fought that decision because the examiner did not have  medical records from  outside  VA  sources in fact she indicated she could not find a sleep study or diagnoses, she was one of those foreign hired doctors who took her medical training in Burma.  Any way it took less than two weeks to get the 2nd C/P exam that tells you how much Cain I raised. 

 I was awarded a 50% rating because of the required used of Bipap, but the VA then combined the sleep apnea to my Asthma/COPD rating.  I then appealed the case to the BVA  requesting a stand alone rating, were it presently sits, because Sleep Apnea is not a pulmonary disease, and the symptoms of sleep apnea  are not the same as the symptoms for a lung disease.  But again,  I did not find it to be a hard process getting it service connected. 

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