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Secondary condition rated higher than primary?


Rivet62

Question

I have a situation that I am approaching that would have my future claim of a secondary condition rated higher than the primary condition. Is this typical?

I think I could have a claim for my Central Sleep Apnea because I require a BiPAP (a CPAP). VA rates this as 50%.

My disc degenerative disease in my cervical spine is the cause due to compressed nerves in the neck (I'm pretty sure).  I'm unsure of what the neck DDD would be rated for, 20% maybe for limited range of motion maybe. Upper extremity radiculopathy is well under way from compressed nerves in the neck.

I think I would like to file a claim for C-spine DDD together, with Central Sleep Apnea as a secondary at 50% while the primary might be rated as 20%.

Is this reasonable to do?  Are there instances where a secondary condition is rated higher than the primary?

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Edited by Rivet62
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It does happen all the time.  It depends on what the secondary condition is and how bad it is.  

The VA does not say well since you have 20% for said condition, then we are only going to give you 30% of the 50% that the rating says you should get.  

If you are connected to a Secondary condtion the Va rates it as a seperate condition as long as it does not pyramid.  So it will have it's own rating that has nothing to do with what it is secondary too.  

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Youd have a challenge, I think, connecting OSA to neck disc compression unless the discs that are compressed affect regular breathing. Not saying it won't happen, just that Ive not seen it- both while in VA and when I wasn't and still researching my own OSA. 

A secondary condition is just one that is caused by the primary- it can be rated higher in and of itself since it's its own thing. 

 

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Yes, it is very possible, I had my VAMC Rheumatologist write a nexus opinion that my service-connected fibromyalgia caused my sleep apnea. I am rated max at 40%, when the VA granted my Sleep Apnea with a CPAP machine it was rated as 50%. Once a disability is established as service connected, it is then rated by the rating criteria, not primary, secondary or aggravated.

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12 minutes ago, pacmanx1 said:

Obstructive sleep apnea common after spinal injury.

Obstructive sleep apnea common after spinal injury (belmarrahealth.com)

Spinal Cord Injury Respiratory Complications: Causes, Risks, and Management.

Spinal Cord Injury Respiratory Complications: How It's Managed (flintrehab.com)

Thank you! I am building the claim up before I submit. This helps the direction.

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13 minutes ago, Rivet62 said:

Obstructive sleep apnea common after spinal injury.

Obstructive sleep apnea common after spinal injury (belmarrahealth.com)

Spinal Cord Injury Respiratory Complications: Causes, Risks, and Management.

Spinal Cord Injury Respiratory Complications: How It's Managed (flintrehab.com)

An IMO with a good medical rationale would greatly help your claim. Your doctor can medically explain how your C-spine could cause breathing problems and apnea.

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