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PTSD/OSA Sleep Apnea success


Dustoff1970

Question

In spite of misleading advice on another veterans benefits forum of present and former VA raters I was just granted 50% SC for OSA Sleep Apnea with CPAP secondary to and due to my long term Nam PTSD and long term use of PTSD medications.  Although only overweight by about 30 lbs for many years the VA examiner said this was reason for my OSA.  I stopped smoking over 20 years ago.  The VARO of course denied my extensive list of favorable evidence including Army medical records in Vietnam and Japan revealing my OSA symptoms of snoring, gasping, insomnia, etc.  with prescribed valium and Seconal for sleep and also VA medical records showing long term use of powerful PTSD medications and Sleep apnea symptoms.  Also ignored my lay statement and mothers statement about my long term OSA symptoms and also ignored extensive lists of medical studies by prestigious private and Army medical center studies showing a direct association of OSA by PTSD in combat veterans and other vets. 

The BVA granted my appeal but also did not discuss any of this extensive favorable medical evidence but instead only discussed a private medical opinion from Doctor David Anaise who stated that all OSA including Obstructive Sleep Apnea has a mixture of central and obstructive apneas that is influenced/caused by signal problems from the brain and not just only by physical jaw, tongue, throat problems.  He further stated that my long term severe PTSD and VA medications was the cause of my OSA. The stock answer by raters on the other forum is if you are overweight and/or long term smoker you cannot win a OSA claim secondary to PTSD.  These raters also discount the value of paid for private medical opinions from Doctor Anaise and others but again in my case the BVA accepted his opinion as positive medical evidence. Many many overweight vets such as myself have been granted SC of OSA due to PTSD by BVA but this is ignored by the other forum.  BS 

P.S. I never have requested a board hearing as no need for one and did not want to deal with a VSO.

Edited by Dustoff 11 (see edit history)
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On 2/11/2022 at 2:55 AM, Dustoff 11 said:

 The VARO of course denied my extensive list of favorable evidence including Army medical records in Vietnam and Japan revealing my OSA symptoms of snoring, gasping, insomnia, etc.  with prescribed valium and Seconal for sleep and also VA medical records showing long term use of powerful PTSD medications and Sleep apnea symptoms.  Also ignored my lay statement and mothers statement about my long term OSA symptoms and also ignored extensive lists of medical studies by prestigious private and Army medical center studies showing a direct association of OSA by PTSD in combat veterans and other vets. 

The BVA granted my appeal but also did not discuss any of this extensive favorable medical evidence but instead only discussed a private medical opinion from Doctor David Anaise who stated that all OSA including Obstructive Sleep Apnea has a mixture of central and obstructive apneas that is influenced/caused by signal problems from the brain and not just only by physical jaw, tongue, throat problems.  

Dustoff11, so you are basically saying that although you submitted an IMO from Dr. David Anaise to the VARO for OSA secondary to PTSD, it was denied and you had to file an appeal with the BVA in order for it to be granted?

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This would be a great example why a veteran should NOT use the HLR appeal process. Go to BVA no new evidence lane if you are confident that the VA didn't eval all your evidence. Check the decisions on their BVA site and see if favorable results were given with evidence such as you have. Then submit direct to BVA. If, by chance you need to get additional evidence, such as an IMO from a doctor, I would submit an supplemental claim first. Let them deny if they will, but now you have that new evidence in your file. Then, you file direct after the denial from the VA. Otherwise if you go to the BVA with new evidence, the evidence lane will take years longer to get a decision.

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35 minutes ago, GBArmy said:
55 minutes ago, Dustoff 11 said:

I received the Anaise favorable medical opinion AFTER the VARO denied my other favorable medical evidence and AFTER I started appeal to the board (BVA).  I then sent the Anaise opinion directly to the BVA with the statement from me for them to evaluate the Anaise opinion without first sending it back to the VARO for the VARO adjudication/evaluation of this evidence.  I am sure the VARO would have also denied his medical opinion.   The board quite often will accept and grant your appeal on same evidence that the VARO said was "no evidence".  This has happened to me before.   A LHI examiner once told me that the VARO does this delay and deny until you die in order for the VA to save money and she is also a former VA nurse.

 

38 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

 Otherwise if you go to the BVA with new evidence, the evidence lane will take years longer to get a decision.

 

GBArmy, that is what would concern me.

Dustoff11, how long did the BVA decision take?

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I had a BVA direct lane 6 months ago. Also, because of age, I automatically received an advance on the docket. Took me only 2 months. But if no hardship exists on your criteria (age, terminal illness, financial difficulty like homelessness, etc.) they are about 15 months now. Yes, it is getting worse, but if you file with New evidence, its going to be a couple years now at least. That's why you should present all your evidence to the RO first, then you don't have to go to the new evidence lane at the BVA.

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