What Is The Disability Rating For Insomnia
Insomnia and other sleep related-disorders can qualify a Veteran for disability benefits if they can prove that their condition was caused by service. Insomnia can be rated anywhere on the VA disability rating scale from 0100% which means Veterans could receive up to $3,221.85 from the VA for their insomnia.
Filing For Va Disability Benefits We Can Help
Sleep apnea can affect every aspect of your life, from your ability to work to your overall health. Even if your sleep apnea was not directly caused by your military service, you may still be able to receive benefits for this condition if it is linked to a service-related disability. Working with a New Jersey veterans disability benefits attorney can increase the chances of being approved for a combined rating based on your primary condition and sleep apnea.
At Bross & Frankel, we are proud to help the men and women who have served our country. We offer a range of legal services for veterans, including assistance with filing for VA disability benefits. Contact us today at , or online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Speak with an experienced disability lawyer about your claim today.
- Social Security Disability / SSI Claims
- Veterans Disability Compensation & Pension
- Long Term Disability Claims / ERISA Benefits
- Workers Compensation Claims
How Common Is Sleep Apnea
The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that around 22 million individuals in the U.S. experience problems with sleep apnea a large portion of them living undiagnosed. In 2017, the Veterans Benefits Administration reported that the VA awarded 282,323 service-connected sleep apnea ratings. Many veterans are affected by sleep apnea as a result of mental health problems or physical injuries. Whether it be CSA, OSA, or complex sleep apnea, Veterans who developed some form of debilitating sleep apnea during their time in the military are entitled to compensation.
Read Also: Vivofit 2 Sleep Tracking
Va Rating For Sleep Apnea Explained The Experts Guide
In this post, we will be exploring how to get a VA Rating for Sleep Apnea.
A veterans final VA disability rating for Sleep Apnea depends upon the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms, meaning, the more severe your symptoms, the higher the VA rating for Sleep Apnea.
In 2020, Sleep Apnea VA ratings range from 0% to 100% with breaks at 30% and 50%.
The highest possible scheduler VA disability rating for Sleep Apnea is 100%, which includes symptoms such as, chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale, or requires tracheostomy.
Okay veterans lets take a minute to explore the law regarding the symptoms and level of impairment required to warrant a VA disability rating for Sleep Apnea.
You might also like the following Blog posts about Sleep Apnea:
Va Service Connection For Sleep Apnea
Generally, to establish service connection, the veteran needs to submit three things to VA:
- A current diagnosis of sleep apnea, as confirmed by a sleep study
- An in-service event, injury, or illness and
- A medical nexus between their sleep apnea and the in-service event, injury, or illness.
Veterans can submit a claim for service connection on VA From 21-526EZ.
Also Check: Va Sleep Disturbances
Compensation And Pension Exams For Secondary Service Connection
After veterans file a claim for secondary service connection, VA may request that the veteran undergo a Compensation and Pension exam. This type of exam is meant to assess the cause and the severity of the veterans condition, as well as the connection to the primary service-connected disability.
These exams are usually performed by a VA examiner or a VA-contracted third-party medical professional. Prior to the exam, the examiner will review the veterans c-file so they are familiar with the veterans case.
During the exam, the examiner may evaluate both the primary and secondary condition. This may seem redundant, especially if the primary condition has already been assessed, however it is still important to attend the exam and cooperate with the examiner. If a veteran does not attend the exam, their claim can be denied.
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:
- 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.
Also Check: Does Apple Watch Track Sleep Series 3
Is Sleep Apnea A Permanent Va Disability
Generally, sleep apnea is not automatically rated a permanent disability by VA, but if a veteran meets certain qualifications, they may be able to secure lifelong compensation.
If VA considers your sleep apnea permanent in nature, meaning they are reasonably certain that the condition will continue with zero or close to zero chance of improvement, veterans will not be scheduled for a re-examination. If this is the case, VA cannot propose a rating reduction.
S To Veteran Disability Benefits For Sleep Apnea
The SECRETS to Veteran disability benefits for sleep apnea REVEALED!!
Whats up Insiders! We know how difficult it can be to file and WIN a Sleep Apnea claim.
The frustration of having a CPAP machine and not being able to get it service-connected is real!
Which is WHY we have created this guide to walk you through a sleep apnea claim!
We are going through 3 Steps to Veteran Disability Benefits for Sleep Apnea!! Including, the CRITICAL aspect of secondary sleep apnea claims, and how you can get service-connected for sleep apnea.
The good news is you can get your sleep apnea claim service-connected!
And as always, if you need anything you can reach out to my team HERE!
Recommended Reading: High Oxygen Variation During Sleep
Could My Other Health Problems Be From Sleep Apnea
Yes! Any medical condition that is caused by your sleep apnea could be service-connected. If you are a veteran and you have a medical condition caused by sleep apnea, that condition could be considered secondary service-connected. Veterans with secondary service-connected impairments are eligible for VA disability benefits.
Tdiu Benefits For Sleep Apnea
Certain symptoms of sleep apnea, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, may impact a veterans ability to work. Veterans unable to find and keep substantially gainful employment due to their service-connected conditions may be entitled to total disability based on individual unemployability .
- A veteran must have one service-connected disability rated at 60 percent disabling or higher or
- More than one service-connected disability, with one disability rated at least 40 percent, and a combined rating of 70 percent or higher.
Recommended Reading: Sleep Hypoxia
How Va Rates Sleep Apnea
The VA disability ratings for sleep apnea are based on the severity of the veterans Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea is rated under 38 CFR § 4.97, Diagnostic Code 6847. This diagnostic code falls under the Sleep Apnea Syndromes. The VA assigns the following ratings for veterans based on the severity of their sleep apnea:
- 100 percent: chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention, the need for a tracheostomy or the enlargement or failure of the right side of the heart due to lung disease. This is the most severe and the highest rating available.
- 50 percent: the veteran requires the use of a breathing device, such as a CPAP machine.
- 30 percent: the veteran is experiencing hypersomnolence, or excessive daytime sleepiness, that does not improve with sufficient sleep or even with naps during the day.
- 0 percent: the veterans condition does not produce any symptoms but has a documented sleep disorder. This rating is a non-compensable rating, however, a veteran may be entitled to other benefits, such as VA health care.Common issues associated with Sleep Apnea include increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, memory problems, and more.
Types Of Evidence To Submit To Help Prove The Connection
- Doctors Note, or Medical NexusIt can be helpful to have a doctor submit a letter stating that there is a causal relationship between your sleep apnea and your hypertension. Your doctor should state that they believe your hypertension is at least as likely as not caused by your sleep apnea.
- Relevant Medical RecordsRelevant medical records can help show the connection between the two conditions and prove that your hypertension is linked to your sleep apnea.
- Medical ArticlesArticles written for medical journals or other reputable sources can serve as evidence to support the causal relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension.
- Lay EvidenceLay evidence refers to statements that are written by the veteran, the veterans family, or fellow service members, which speak to the veterans medical conditions or their service. Lay evidence can help support a claim for hypertension secondary to sleep apnea, as the veteran can speak to their experience with both conditions. Importantly, however, the person writing lay evidence should only speak to what they know. This means that the veteran cannot necessarily submit a medical opinion saying that their sleep apnea directly caused their hypertension, but they can speak to how both conditions affect them.
Don’t Miss: Do Betta Sleep
Faq: Your Va Sleep Apnea Rating
What is sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep. Sometimes the airflow is completely stopped or just reduced. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send the body signals to breathe.
Should I have a sleep apnea study done?
If you suspect that you suffer from sleep apnea, we highly suggest you get a sleep study. First we recommend a sleep study for your own health. Secondly, you are going to need evidence of your condition to obtain a VA sleep apnea rating. A sleep study can diagnose you with sleep apnea and is the a great way to figure out what medical precautions you need to take.
Can sleep apnea be service-connected?
Yes. Sleep apnea can be service-connected in many different ways. While most veterans dont have a diagnosis while serving, they can use buddy statements to prove their condition existed at the time of service. For example, you can use a statement from someone you served with to show you snored really loudly and that you stopping breathing in your sleep for periods of time. During your active duty service, you slept very close to many other people and they may be able to show your sleep patterns developed or worsened from service.
Can I secondarily service-connect sleep apnea?How does the VA rate sleep apnea?What VA ratings are available for sleep apnea?What does a 0% VA sleep apnea rating mean?Can veterans get a VA sleep apnea rating of 100%?
What Are The Va Disability Rates For Sleep Apnea
The VA rating you receive for sleep apnea determines how much you will receive in monthly compensation for disability.
The VA sleep apnea rating system is under federal code 38 CFR 4.97 Code 6847.
There are 4 distinct VA disability ratings for sleep apnea .
The VA disability rating is non-compensable.
Regardless, you may be entitled to other military benefits such as VA healthcare.
The VA disability rating may receive partial disability coverage.
However, the majority of sleep apnea claims currently get denied by the U.S. military which is why compensation is not guaranteed at the 30% rating.
In most instances, the military deems this rating an inconvenience to your sleep/lifestyle habits yet not detrimental enough to warrant compensation.
The 50% VA disability rating drastically improves your chances of receiving compensation.
The military grants this liability rating when the patient requires a breathing device to assist with sleeping and getting rest.
The 50% rating can have a noticeable impact on your overall combined rating and compensation received.
The highest rating recognizes chronic respiratory problems and failure.
Thus, patients with this rating are entitled to full benefits as long as they can prove the condition is service-connected.
Don’t Miss: Va Rating For Mild Sleep Apnea
What To Know Before Filing A Sleep Apnea Claim As A Veteran
If you are a veteran suffering from any form of sleep apnea as a direct result of your active-duty military service, you may be entitled to compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs . Understanding whether your sleep apnea qualifies for VA disability benefits and how to get the information needed to prove entitlement to service-connection can be challenging.
For information on what you need to know before filing a sleep apnea claim as a veteran, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Our VA disability attorneys can help you better understand what you could be entitled to for service-connected sleep apnea.
The Va And Cpap Machines
If you have a breathing machine, you need to provide medical evidence that it was prescribed by the doctor. As well as a letter from your doctor stating that this device is medically necessary for your sleep apnea. No longer is it sufficient to just provide the records for a breathing machine. The VA wont assume anything, but by giving a letter of the doctors opinion, this will help to solidify your claim.
In the past, using a CPAP machine was the only way to get your claim approved. Now, a CPAP is just one of the available treatments. If you dont have a breathing machine, you can buy one here. Having evidence from a breathing machine can significantly speed up your decision!
Also Check: Does Gear S3 Track Sleep
Preparation & Medical Appointments
Step 1: Schedule an appointment with a medical professional to discuss your sleep problems and symptoms.
Step 2: Request that the VA schedule a sleep study examination for sleep apnea. Make sure the sleep test is performed at an approved clinic.
Step 3: Obtain the test results from the sleep study along with a nexus letter from a medical professional. The nexus letter contains the professional opinion that sleep apnea is related to your military service and therefore service-connected. This process is referred to as a direct service connection.
Step 4: Consider making your case more persuasive by adding a secondary basis . The secondary service connection, such as linking PTSD to sleep apnea helps add value to the claim that you deserve VA disability benefits. There are several conditions linked to sleep apnea in the military such as asthma, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and mental health conditions.
How Do You Prove Sleep Apnea Resulted From An In
Sleep apnea is not a presumptive condition for veterans exposed to Agent Orange or ionized radiation, or contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War could be entitled to a presumptive status of service-connection for sleep apnea. The VAs regulation concerning Persian Gulf War veterans, 38 § C.F.R. 3.17, states sleep apnea is categorized under sleep disturbances as an undiagnosed illness and medically unexplained chronic multisymptomatic illness.
Veterans can prove service-connection for sleep apnea by showing their sleep apnea began in service using medical records, or by providing a nexus opinion from a certified medical professional linking a current diagnosis of sleep apnea to signs or symptoms experienced in service.
Additionally, veterans can achieve service-connection for sleep apnea on a secondary basis. Establishing a secondary service-connection involves proving your sleep apnea is secondary to, or a residual effect, of a separate condition.
Recommended Reading: Sleep-related Hypoxemia
Knowing How The Va Rates Sleep Apnea
According to Title 38, section 4.97, Diagnostic Code 6847 of the Department of Veteran Affairs rating schedule, sleep apnea syndromes are rated according to the following:
- 100% Chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention, or cor pulmonale, or requires a tracheostomy.
- 50% Requires use of breathing device persistent day-time hypersomnolence
- 30% Persistent day-time hypersomnolence, leading to work and social deficiencies
- 0% Asymptomatic but with documented sleep disorder breathing
If you do receive a rating of 50% or higher, you can get a CPAP machine provided to you by the VA on top of your benefits.
Regarding CPAP machines, a recent VA report on VHA health care spending for sleep apnea has called on the VA to implement spending reforms cutting up to $200 million over the next 5 years. This report specifically focuses on the spending and distribution of CPAP machines, where the number of veterans receiving CPAP machines increased by 96% from 2014-2018. The amount spent on CPAP machines increased from $147.6 million to $233.9 million during that same time.
The report concludes that half the veterans receiving the devices used them less than half of the time, leading them to conclude that the VA had misspent that money by not following up with veterans in a timely manner. It was also determined that there was a lack of guidance for alternatives to purchasing the machines.