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Can The Va Take Away My Sleep Apnea Rating

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When The Va Can’t Send You To A Re

How to WIN Your Sleep Apnea VA Disability Claim
Under 38 CFR 3.327, the VA can't send you to a re-examination if:
  • the disability has been as established as static or is of a permanent nature with no likelihood of improvement
  • when the veteran’s symptoms haven’t shown improvement for five years or more
  • the veteran is over the age of 55
  • the rating for the disability falls under a regulated scheduled minimum rating, or
  • if a combined disability evaluation would not be affected even if one of the conditions have improved.

How Can You Receive Va Disability For Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects about 22 million people nationwide. If you are among the former military service members living with sleep apnea, you may be eligible for veterans disability compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Were seeing veterans coming back from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the southwest Asia theater of war with severe sleep issues, which can often times be linked to PTSD. This guide will outline the basics of sleep apnea, how the VA disability rating works for this condition, and how qualifying veterans can prove service connection. Well also talk a bit about PTSDs link with sleep apnea.

How Does Va Diagnose Sleep Apnea

VA requires that a sleep study be conducted before confirming a sleep apnea diagnosis. Even if a medical professional has previously diagnosed a veteran with sleep apnea, VA will not consider this sufficient evidence without a sleep study.

Veterans who have already been granted VA disability for sleep apnea based on their service connection, but did not undergo a sleep study, will likely be required to undergo one to maintain their benefits. On the other hand, those who have maintained a VA rating for at least 10 years do not need to partake in a sleep study as their diagnosis and disability rating are protected.

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Why Do So Many Veterans Have Sleep Apnea

Research shows a strong correlation between deployments and sleep disorders, and sleep apnea is extremely common among veterans. The Office of the Inspector General found that 1.3 million veterans enrolled in VA Healthcare have a sleep apnea diagnosis.

As a veteran, youre four times more likely than other Americans to develop sleep apnea. According to the VA, 1 in 5 veterans has obstructive sleep apnea. Since 2009, the number of veterans claims for sleep apnea has increased by over 150%, according to USA Today.

Why do so many veterans have sleep apnea? There are many factors during and after service that make veterans vulnerable to this condition. There are also many service-connected conditions that can result in sleep apnea. It can also work in reverse: sleep apnea can lead to other disabilities.

Sleep apnea can be aggravated by PTSD , also an extremely common disorder for veterans. The same goes for depression and anxietyor any of the 33 mental health conditions rated by the VAwhich can be highly disruptive to sleep.

Traumatic brain injury and physical pain are also conditions that affect many veterans and can lead to sleep apnea. Exposure to materials such as dust and fumes, and the resulting rhinitis or sinusitis, is also a common issue for veterans thats associated with sleep apnea.

Sinusitis & Sleep Apnea

Va rating for sleep apnea secondary to ptsd

Veterans with obstructive sleep apnea have a heightened risk of chronic sinusitis. There are studies linking the conditions, which means veterans may be able to service-connect the two conditions together. Sinusitis can aggravate obstructive sleep apnea and vice-versa. For this reason, veterans regularly receive both a VA sinusitis rating and a VA sleep apnea rating concurrently.

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Secondary Basis Proof For Va Disability Claims

Additionally, service members may attempt to prove their sleep apnea is service-connected through a secondary basis.

The VA accepts disability claims that connect sleep apnea with another medical condition that developed or worsened during service.

For example, medical experts already have found links between asthma, mental health disorders, TBI, and PTSD with sleep apnea.

Therefore, you may be able to prove sleep apnea is service-connected through a secondary condition/basis.

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How Do I Know If My Va Disability Is Permanent

The Department of Veterans Affairs considers a disability to be permanent when the medical evidence shows that it is reasonably certain the severity of the veterans condition will continue for the rest of the veterans life. In determining this, the VA is allowed to take into account the veterans age.

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How Much Do Sleep Apnea Va Disability Benefits Pay Monthly

Veterans that have a service-connected disability might be eligible to receive more than $3,332.06 a month. The Veterans Administration pays monthly compensation to veterans who can service-connect their sleep apnea.

Veterans who have had sleep studies or use a CPAP machine should consider applying for sleep apnea VA disability benefits. If you do not yet have a diagnosis of sleep apnea, you may want to begin treating with a doctor to help prove it is service-connected.

The Repeated Night Time Interruptions Will Leave You Feeling Overtired The Following Day But You’ll Usually Have No Memory Of The Apneas Taking Place

VA Rating for Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD

Success gett sleep apnea approved. Anybody can go online and find the sleep apnea va disability rating criteria on the va rating scheduleyou may have found this page but i don’t think you’re really asking for that. But what if the nearest sleep center is hours away or booked up for months? Many insurance companies consider sleep apnea a high risk. Or what if a disability, or dependents, or a job makes a night in a lab too your risk for sleep apnea can only be determined by a complete sleep evaluation. Sleep apnea definitely has become more of an issue over the past several years, hughes said as he began his briefing. The va sleep apnea ratings are based not much time wasted for the results. If you have questions or are seeing. Sleep apnea is linked to a wide range of health problems, from high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues to an increased rate of traffic accidents. Sleep apnea alone would not be a. Since sleep apnea becomes worse, it’s important to take measures to aid in a successful night’s sleep. You want to conduct a sleep apnea test at home? People with sleep apnea frequently wake up for a few seconds to gasp for air.

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Total Disability Ratings For Pension Based On Unemployability And Age Of The Individual

Allveterans who are basically eligible and who are unable to secure and follow asubstantially gainful occupation by reason of disabilities which are likely tobe permanent shall be rated as permanently and totally disabled. For thepurpose of pension, the permanence of the percentage requirements of §4.16 is arequisite. When the percentage requirements are met, and the disabilitiesinvolved are of a permanent nature, a rating of permanent and total disabilitywill be assigned if the veteran is found to be unable to secure and followsubstantially gainful employment by reason of such disability. Prior employmentor unemployment status is immaterial if in the judgment of the rating board theveterans disabilities render him or her unemployable. In making suchdeterminations, the following guidelines will be used:

Claims of all veterans who fail to meet the percentage standards but who meetthe basic entitlement criteria and are unemployable, will be referred by therating board to the Veterans Service Center Manager or the Pension ManagementCenter Manager under §3.321 of this chapter.

Can The Va Take Away My Sleep Apnea Rating

Since the condition is not considered a permanent VA disability, you can have your rating taken away by the VA.

If the condition resolves over time, and you are reevaluated to not have sleep apnea any more, you will no longer be able to claim that rating for compensation.

As such, the 10-year rule mentioned above would still apply, so whether or not they can take it away also depends on the length of time youve had the condition as a part of your total disability rating.

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About Va Claims Insider

VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. Were here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible independent medical opinions and nexus statements for a wide range of disability conditions.

Higher/more Severe Va Ratings

 Va Claim For Sleep Apnea Secondary To Allergic Rhinitis ...

50% Rating

The VA rates sleep apnea at a 50% rating if you need a breathing device to assist with your sleeping habits.

Military personnel or veterans that rely on a CPAP machine for breathing assistance fall under this distinction.

Under this rating, you have a 50/50 chance of receiving approval for disability benefits.

You should do your research when submitting the claim to make sure you submit any evidence of sleep apnea .

100% Rating

The VA rates sleep apnea at a 100% rating when chronic respiratory failure is evident through carbon dioxide retention.

Furthermore, the 100% rating for sleep apnea includes the need for a tracheostomy.

Additionally, veterans can file a claim if the right side of the heart is enlarged or experienced failure as a result of lung disease.

Under this rating, military personnel has the strongest likelihood of gaining acceptance for VA disability benefits.

The VA generally approves claims at this rating because it is considered the most severe form of sleep apnea.

Recommended Reading: Va Claim Sleep Apnea

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea And Other Medical Conditions

While a veteran with sleep apnea may qualify for disability benefits solely on the basis of their service-connected disability, in some cases, sleep apnea is a result of another condition. In these situations, a veteran may be able to claim sleep apnea on a secondary basis if the underlying health issue is service-connected.

There is a range of health problems that are connected to sleep apnea. For example, a 2015 study found that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder had a high risk of developing sleep apnea. The severity of PTSD symptoms increased the risk of screening positive for sleep apnea symptoms.

There are a number of medical conditions that are associated with sleep apnea, including:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Acromegaly
  • Muscle diseases

In addition, sleep apnea may be caused by:

  • Excess weight or obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Some medications, including narcotic pain medications, sleep medicines, and sedative

For example, assume that you were diagnosed with asthma as a result of your service, and were awarded a VA rating for benefits as a result. If you then developed sleep apnea, you could seek an updated VA rating based on your combined disabilities. To do so, you will need to submit evidence of your sleep apnea diagnosis as well as a nexus between your asthma and sleep apnea.

What You Can Do To Safeguard Your Va Sleep Apnea Claim

VAs own playbook now says the necessity of a CPAP or other breathing assistance device is a medical question. In VA sleep apnea claims , medical questions can only be answered with medical evidence. That usually means a doctors opinion.

The bad news is that this extra scrutiny by VA will be a trap for the unwary. If a veteran doesnt have a statement from the doctor saying the CPAP is medically necessary, it is an invitation for VA to deny the claim now.

So, get the prescription for the CPAP or other breathing assistance device. Also, have the doctor put in writing that the device is medically necessary to treat the sleep apnea. Your doctor may give you a funny look when you ask him to give written justification for his prescription, but if he knows anything about the VA he should understand.

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How Is Sleep Apnea A Service

Once you have your diagnosis, now you need to connect the sleep apnea to your military service. This means filling the gaps from the time of active service until now, with strong medical evidence plus credible lay statements, buddy statements, vocational reports facts that will demonstrate to the VA that your sleep apnea is related to your service.

This is done by one of two paths:

  • Direct service connection, or
  • Secondary service connection
  • VA needs to find that your current sleep apnea cannot be reasonably separated from your military service.

    Please read our in-depth action plan on how to service-connect sleep apnea for VA disability compensation.

    Working With A Va Disability Lawyer

    Sleep Apnea | How to get a higher VA disability rating

    Although sleep apnea is a fairly common condition with the potential to be destructive to an individuals well-being, the VA does not make it easy to receive compensation. Even with all the necessary evidence, it can be difficult to convince the VA that your sleep apnea developed as a direct result of your time in the military. The way in which information is structured and presented can make a significant difference.

    VA disability lawyers can also help in cases where an appeal is needed. If the VA denies your original disability claim or assigns you a lower rating than you believe you deserve, a lawyer can help to appeal the claim and try again for a more favorable decision.

    Recommended Reading: Va Rating For Sleep Disturbances

    Va Sleep Apnea Claim 50% Rating Change #1

    First, the Veteran now has to show that the prescription of a breathing assistive device is medically necessary.

    Its this simple: you are going to need a letter from your doctor explaining that your breathing assistive device IS medically necessary and, I predict that the Court will add on a requirement that the examiner explain WHY its medically necessary.

    Thats not going to be hard for Veterans that get private care: doctors dont typically prescribe the use of an expensive device without a medical necessity.

    But the VA isnt private care, and would cut a Veterans breathing supply off if it would save the VAMCs bottom line.

    Why not?

    Because the Office of General Counsel has long and quietly taken the position that VAMC Medical Doctors cannot help Veterans with their benefits claims, because it is a conflict of interest for the Doctor to help the Veteran while hurting the VA.

    But Chris, you ask, I thought the VA Claims systems was supposed to be non-adversarial?

    Well, it is non-adversarialwhen the VA wants it to be .

    When the VA wants the system to be adversarial, they damn well make sure it is adversarial, antagonistic, and in many cases, anti-Vet.

    Its absurd, yesand the OGC routinely denies itbut those of us that talk to the Regional Counsel offices around the US know that this is what the VA Regional Counsel attorneys are telling doctors: help a Veteran with their VA Disability benefits claim, and it could hurt your career here.


    How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea

    Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

    • Loud snoring
    • Daytime sleepiness or insomnia
    • Lack of focus or difficulty concentrating
    • Irritability or anger

    If you experience many of these symptoms, we recommend seeing a doctor as soon as possible and seeking a diagnosis. If you meet the requirement of having a current diagnosis, you can obtain a service connection and VA rating for sleep apnea and receive disability benefits.

    Its likely your doctor will need to order a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. A doctors diagnosis will be one of the keys to getting a sleep apnea VA rating.

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    Is Va Disability For Life

    Home » FAQs » Is VA Disability for Life?

    VA disability is usually not for life. When you start collecting benefits, its with the understanding that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can and will periodically review your situation and reassess whether you should continue receiving benefits, and at the same level. If you have a severe medical condition from which VA believes you will never recover, it may designate you as permanently and totally disabled. With this designation, youll receive VA disability benefits for life .

    VA reserves permanent and total disability for the most extreme situations. Most VA disability recipients can expect periodic reexaminations. The key to emerging from a reexamination with your benefits unscathed is to make sure you have compelling evidence of your continuing disability. To find out about what a VA disability lawyer can do for you, call for a free case evaluation.

    Sleep Apnea And Military Service Connections

    Sleep Apnea Secondary Conditions: How to Service Connect ...

    The key in getting a VA disability rating for sleep apnea involves establishing that military service caused the problem.

    But in cases where you may not be able to establish a direct link between military service and the condition it may be possible that it is due to the effects of a different service-connected medical issue.

    For example, PTSD is said to aggravate sleep disorders or introduce them veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome or other Gulf War-related conditions may also suffer from sleep apnea as a result.

    How do you establish that sleep apnea is service-connected? If the first appearance of the problem occurs in your military medical records as opposed to being a pre-existing condition, that may be a step toward a VA disability rating.

    Any military member experiencing sleep disorders should, in anticipation of needing this data at a later date, request a sleep study to be done in a military medical facility where possible to establish whether or not there is a service connection to the sleep issues.

    You can also see a civilian medical provider to get supporting documentation of a service-connection for sleep apnea. The key will be having as much of the issue medically documented while still serving as possible and getting supporting medical opinions in addition to whatever treatment or study of your sleep issues happen while you are still serving.

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