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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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wemer13

Sleep Apnea Claim

Question

           Hello fellow Veterans, I am looking for some advice and or knowledge on how to proceed with my claim! I am currently at 90% (TDIU P&T) paid at 100% but trying to get to 100%

flat. I never had any sleep issues that I was aware of during my military career. In 2012 I was diagnosed with severe obstructed sleep apnea, I have a c-pap issued from the V.A 

and currently still use it. My claim was denied stating I had not received any treatment for the issue while on active duty! Can this be rated as a secondary service connected 

disability? Any help would be appreciated! 

 

Current disabilities!

70% PTSD COMBAT,  20% LEFT SHOULDER,  20% RIGHT SHOULDER

10% TINNITUS,  10% LOWER BACK,  10% RIDICALOPATHY

 

 

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Your best bet is to see a sleep specialist.   A sleep specialist is a medical doctor who has completed additional education and training in the field of sleep medicine. ... They often work in sleep centers, also called sleep clinics and sleep labs (laboratories). Anyone who takes and passes the ABSM board has the privilege of placing the following after their name: Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, or simply D, ABSM.

Here is a good article regarding PTSD and sleep apnea that you could use:    https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/connection-between-ptsd-and-sleep-apnea

Edited by toddt
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Hi all,

I recently had a non-VA psychiatrist write a nexus stating that my OSA "was at least as likely as not aggravated by my service connected anxiety and that my anxiety aggravated my OSA". He went on to explain the hows and whys, as well as listing medications and medical conditions. My claim was approved in 5 months, on the first try, at 50% secondary due to use of a VA issued CPAP. He also attached a peer reviewed journal article to his nexus statement as supporting evidence.

I had complained of trouble sleeping in the Navy back in the 90s, but didn't have a sleep study done until 2018. Medications and injuries on top of injuries have made sleeping worse.

From what I've been reading about other OSA secondary claims, the key words just might be " at least as not aggravated by" and not "caused by". I can't speak for everyone else, but those words definitely worked in my favor.

Hope this helps! 

-NC

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Thank you for the info and suggestions!  I will get the ball rolling and see what happens.

 

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Toddt's advise, as others,is great. If your own psych doc won't write it, it could work if you had a qualified sleep specialist possibly, but I would lean toward the psych because it is the meds prescribed for that disability that got you in the overweight condition, and the VA always says over weight or obesity is the cause of OSA. You turn the tables on them and say "It's your prescribed meds that caused my weight gain." This nexus letter will cost you but the rationale is sound. If you do your research and find medical journals/articles that support that as your position, you might get a doc to write it cheaper because you are feeding him the ammo. The minimum they would have to say is xyz med caused the overweight condition over -time. The overweight resulted is OSA. Articles 1,2,3 show the connection of the meds to overweight. Articles d,e, and f show the connection of the weight gain to OSA. In my opinion, it is as likely as not the veteran weight gain was the cause of the OSA and his VA meds caused/contributed to that weight gain. There are many post regarding IMO here, so check them out. It is likely worth you effort.I hesitate to recommend anyone specifically, but there are qualified docs that can make this work for you.

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