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Weight-Related Claims Denied ???


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In my Veteran Statement for my OSA, I referenced about five VetApp files (similar to what Berta posted), as well as the Walsh v Wilkie decision, a Nexus from my Sleep Specialist stating weight gain due to my SC back issues as the cause, statements from family members, and several credible online sources linking weight to Sleep Apnea. 

The VA completely disregarded all of that and made no mention in their letter of a connection between OSA and weight.

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Harry59, I am following this discussions and your battle. I was just diag. with sleep apnea and I am getting a CPAP. At least your sleep specialist gave you a nice Nexus. Mine wouldn't. My PCP won't and now I'm waiting on my PT doctor. They all agree my SC peripheral vestibular disorder is keeping me from exercising. Also one of my meds is causing weight gain as well. I too sent in the papers Berta posted. I'm really shocked you are having difficulty with all the evidence you have. Good luck and I'll be watching for updates.  

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3 hours ago, harry59 said:

My Sleep Specialist did not have a copy of the VA doctor's examination of my OSA because my C&P was after my doctor appointment. I wonder if I should go back to my Sleep Specialist and have her do a DBQ. ???

I think this would be great for you to do, since the doctor is familiar with you and your conditions.  They may not do this but you will not know until you ask but the likelihood is increased if you have a good relationship.  On experience it has been a few of several dozen for me to write a nexus letter.  It can be done.  Just be honest and respectful as always. Courtesy always goes a long way.  JMO

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On a Hill & Ponton live chat on YouTube, I just posed the question of "The VA denied my secondary claims for OSA and Hypertension using my weight as the "intermediate-step." Should the VA consider the Walsh vs Wilkie case in any of their decisions?" Their response was that the VA Regional Offices will not consider case law in their decisions. They suggested I file for a HLR appeal and if I'm not granted service connection there, appeal to the BVA. They said the BVA will consider case law in their decisions. Hopefully I won't have to appeal to the BVA, since that will take years, but I have to, I will.

Hopefully this information will be useful to others going through similar issues. 

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44 minutes ago, harry59 said:

On a Hill & Ponton live chat on YouTube, I just posed the question of "The VA denied my secondary claims for OSA and Hypertension using my weight as the "intermediate-step." Should the VA consider the Walsh vs Wilkie case in any of their decisions?" Their response was that the VA Regional Offices will not consider case law in their decisions. They suggested I file for a HLR appeal and if I'm not granted service connection there, appeal to the BVA. They said the BVA will consider case law in their decisions. Hopefully I won't have to appeal to the BVA, since that will take years, but I have to, I will.

Hopefully this information will be useful to others going through similar issues. 

Under the new AMA program, appeals do not take years anymore, at most it should not take more than a little over a year to appeal to the BVA and an HLR appeal should be three to nine months. Before COVID, appeals to the BVA was 365 days or less and HLR appeals were about 125 days, but that COVID is really making things take a little longer than they should. So, no more years on years of appeals. The VA is trying their best to eliminate all legacy appeals by end of 2022-2023.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for that info. I might need to get on that train. 

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