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Is Sleep Apnea A Disability

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How Sleep Apnea Impacts Veterans

How to WIN Your Sleep Apnea VA Disability Claim

Sleep impacts a persons mental, physical, and emotional health. Sleep is required to function. How sleep apnea can impact a veteran differs from person to person however, in some cases, the veteran is unable to work because of the extent of hypersomnia and difficulty to focus. One out of five veterans have obstructive sleep apnea, and the number has been increasing over the years. Bosley & Bratch understands how detrimental sleep apnea can be in a veterans life, we want to help.

Will Social Security Approve My Disability Claim Based On Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea must be considered severe for SSA to approve the claim

Will SSA approve my claim based on sleep apnea?

How does SSA determine if my sleep apnea qualifies for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Step 1: Non-Medical CriteriaStep 2: Severe ImpairmentStep 3: Medical ListingsStep 4: Past WorkStep 5: Other Work

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How Does The Va Determine Disabilitywhat Is A Disability Rating Level

Before diving further into a discussion of how disability compensation is awarded for Sleep Apnea, its important to understand how the VA determines disability.

First of all, in order for the VA to pay anything on a disability claim, the disability has to be connected to a veterans time spent in the Armed Services.

Once the VA confirms the disability exists they then assign it a rating level. This rating level determines the amount of compensation paid by the VA. Getting a 50% disability rating level means higher compensation. However, recently, the VA has changed how the 50% disability rating level is awarded.

It used to be much easier for a veteran to get VA disability for Sleep Apnea. In the past, VA disability for Sleep Apnea could be awarded based on a prescription for a CPAP machine alone. However recently, the VA disability Sleep Apnea eligibility criteria rules were rewritten.

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What Is Residual Functional Capacity

Residual functional capacity measures how much your condition hinders your ability to work. The SSA will first look at how your condition hinders your ability to do your current or most recent job. Next, they will look at how your condition affects your ability to do any job. If your condition prevents you from working a job that you might qualify for, you may be approved for benefits.

Can I Get Va Disability For Sleep Apnea

Sleep Disorders: A Clinician
  • Can I Get VA Disability for Sleep Apnea?

Veterans know that there is a great risk of injury on the job.

If someone is injured while enlisted, they are likely eligible for VA Disability Benefits.

What people may not know is that secondary issues may arise from service-connected injuries and that these can be counted towards your overall VA Disability rating.

Is sleep apnea one of these secondary issues?

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No Matter What Type Of Sleep Apnea A Person Has They Stop Breathing For Short Periods Of Time During Sleep

When a person stops breathing, the brain and rest of the body do not get enough oxygen. These stoppages occur repeatedly, sometimes hundreds of times and often for one minute or longer. If untreated, sleep apnea can cause daytime fatigue, memory problems, weight gain and headaches. The condition can also adversely impact job performance and carries the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver problems and auto accidents. Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even children, but men and people who are overweight are more at risk than others.

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It’s Possible A Va Disability Attorney Can Help You Obtain Benefits For Sleep Apnea

Some veteran disabilities are more obvious than others. It is easy for an outsider to understand that an amputation or a head injury was the direct result of a soldiers sacrifices for our country, but other aftereffects of serving in the military are more difficult to understand. One of these afflictions is sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which breaths are missed during sleep, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain and disturbing sleep problems. Sleep apnea has been linked with high blood pressure, heart problems, fatigue, headaches, snoring, daytime drowsiness, and memory problems. While sleep apnea can be caused by obesity, age, or a deviated septum, medical experts believe that sleep apnea can also be caused by long-term exposure to dust, chemicals, and other environments that military men are often exposed to.

Statistics say that up to 20 percent of United States veterans suffer from sleep apnea, while only about five percent of the general population has been diagnosed with the sleep condition. In 2010, over 60,000 veterans applied for disability benefits for their sleep apnea condition. Many predict this number will only go up, both as older veterans age and as more men and women come home from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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What Criteria Are Considered For A Sleep Apnea Disability Claim

Filing a disability claim is a very stressful and time-consuming process. Many people want to know some of the factors involved with these claims before investing time and resources into applying. Getting your disability approved for sleep apnea will typically require that you submit proof and documentation showing:

· Results of a sleep study performed by medical professionals that confirms you have sleep apnea.

· The sleep apnea either started or progressively worsened while you were on active duty or is secondarily related to a condition that is linked to your active duty service.

If you received an in-service diagnosis for sleep apnea, then getting your disability claim approved will likely be easy. However, many former service members have not received this in-service diagnosis, which is one of the reasons why getting claims approved can be difficult.

Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

VA Disability for Sleep Apnea | What Sleep Apnea symptoms to look for in your records | theSITREP

How do you know if you have a potential problem in this area? There are multiple symptoms to pay attention to. Remember that not all symptoms are automatically an indication of a medical problem, but they are worth paying attention to for future reference if you have some of the more benign types.

Dont forget the power of a spouse, partner, roommate, or other housemates to give you information that could help your decision making about addressing this issueif someone else tells you that youve been snoring or experiencing other sleep disturbances, take such reports seriously and consider having those observations committed to writing for your future claims sake.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Insomnia or difficulty remaining asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, AKA hypersomnia
  • Difficulty paying attention due to sleep deprivation
  • Irritability due to insomnia or lost sleep

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Is Sleep Apnea A Disability

Sleep apnea is a condition that deprives a person of a good nights sleep over a period of time.

The ailment involves a breathing disorder that causes a person to skip breaths while theyre sleeping, resulting in low oxygen levels in the body & brain. Without a good nights rest, its difficult for the body to perform at its full potential the next day. Over a stretch of sleepless nights, the emotional drain becomes significant, spiraling in deteriorating physical health.

Breathing issues associated with sleep apnea have been linked to obstruction in the breathing passage, infections, or the result an awkward sleeping posture. Symptoms of sleep apnea, besides the lack of sleep, include loud snoring, restlessness while sleeping, and fatigue or drowsiness during the day.

Sleep apnea can have a significant impact on a persons heart too. Without the proper treatment or rest, the condition can lead to congestive heart failure. Furthermore, numerous research studies show that sleep apnea increases the risk of other body problems like high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Family members or bed partners often pick up on the signs of sleep apnea first. Many people with sleep apnea don’t know they’re snoring and gasping for breath at night. If you have any of the following signs, see your doctor:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • loud snoring followed by silent pauses
  • gasping or choking during sleep
  • morning headache
  • poor concentration or memory loss
  • lowered sex drive

Snoring by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. It is true that loud snoring is common in people with this disorder, but there’s a big difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems. If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can lead to:

  • high blood pressure
  • work-related injuries

Accommodations For Sleep Apnea In The Workplace

Sleep Disorders

Depending on the severity, employers may be able to implement low-cost accommodations to help their employees suffering sleep apnea. While not as effective as eliminating the problem through CPAP usage or making lifestyle changes, they may be right for some situations.

You should encourage employees to be open about their needs in order to understand what youre able to do to help them. Changing up their schedule, if theyre shift workers, may be beneficial, as well as giving an extra break or allowing for flexible hours. Work with them to find a solution you can both live with, and the problem can indeed be minimized with potentially little effort on your end.

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Complications Associated With Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea may sound new to many people. Although, some people might suffer from this disability as they may not be able to get enough sleep and face breathing disruptions.

Most people are unaware of this problem and remain tired throughout the day due to less sleep.

Some people also feel irritable, depressed, and have severe headaches during morning time that continues in the latter part of the day as well.

However, sleep apnea can turn out to be more dangerous and severe than just feeling restless or loud snoring.

Sometimes it may happen that when an individual stops breathing during the night the oxygen levels tend to decrease which is known as hypoxemia condition.

The decrease in the oxygen levels can lead to a severe condition termed pulmonary vascular hypertension which causes high blood pressure in the veins responsible for carrying blood from the lungs to the heart.

This condition causes an enlarged heart and sometimes even heart failure. If you are in a dilemma whether your disability will qualify for getting the Social Security Benefits or not then seek help from a competent Social Security Disability Lawyer.

Is Sleep Apnea Considered A Disability By The Ada

sleep apneaADA’sdisabilitysleep apneaADA

. Also to know is, is sleep apnea a disability under the ADA?

The Mayo Clinic’s website defines sleep apnea as a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If a disabilityunder the ADA is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, what major life activity does sleep apnea impair?

Also Know, can you be fired for sleep apnea? An employer may be justified in dismissing an employee where the nature of the illness, such as OSA, means that the continued employment of the employee could pose a risk to themselves, their colleagues or, where appropriate, the employer’s customers or clients.

Consequently, is Narcolepsy considered a disability under ADA?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. Therefore, the court said, the narcolepsy substantially limited a major life activity this qualified the condition as a disability under the ADA.

Can you be signed off work with sleep apnea?

Borge Sivertsen of the University of Bergen, found that workers with OSA symptoms were more likely to need long-term sick leave or go on work disability, even with other factors – such as lifestyle habits and other medical conditions taken into account.

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What Cpap Machine Does The Va Use For 50% Rating

Importantly, the 50% rating requires a breathing assistance device. There are various devices that VA allows in order for a veteran to get a 50% rating.

First, it is helpful to know the history behind the 50% rating.

In the past, all an eligible veteran needed for a 50% rating was to submit medical proof of a diagnosis of sleep apnea.

Things changed on April 18, 2016, when VA issued a new rule that a breathing assistance device is medically required to earn the 50% rating. This supports the severity of the disability for rating purposes, and supporting documentation should be submitted by a qualified physician. As you will see, the physicians opinion stating that the breathing device is medically required is very important.

The exact wording for the 50% rating is Requires use of breathing assistance device such as continuous airway pressure machine.

Clearly, a CPAP apparatus is just one of several acceptable breathing assistance devices for a veterans rating and subsequent treatment of sleep apnea. Each claim and individual is unique. But initially, VA raters were inclined to favor CPAP machines and not give much weight to other breathing assistance devices as viable options for the disabled veteran.

VA has now updated its adjudicators manualthe M21-1 Adjudication Procedures Manualwith more specifics for the raters to mutually adhere to. These updates include details about

  • Sleep Studies

Of great importance to your sleep apnea VA claim is the following requirement:

Understanding The Role Of An Underwriter

Sleep Apnea and Social Security Disability

Firstly, lets talk about the person who holds the epic stamp of approval for your term insurance application.

An underwriters role is to decide whether to provide insurance and under what terms. In their process of evaluating your application, theyll determine your premium, and coverage amounts as well.

You need to convince an underwriter youre worth covering. Also, when asking, Is sleep apnea a disability?- Youre asking the underwriter this

In some cases, an underwriter will consider your sleep apnea a disability. However, in other cases, they wont. And believe it or not, neither your doctor nor the Social Security Administration determines this.

Left untreated, Sleep Apnea causes all kinds of illnesses and diseases. Untreated or poorly managed Obstructive Sleep Apnea would most likely be deemed a disability.

Nevertheless, an underwriter is looking at your health, health management, and health history through a freshly cleaned microscope lens. If they perceive something about you as risky, youll likely get assigned a higher premium.

Which stinks.

But, you dont have to settle. Keeping staring under the hood or examining that recipe. Your aha moment is coming.

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Types Of Disability Benefits For Sleep Disorders In Canada

There are two sources of disability benefits for Canadian workers with sleep disorders: the Canada Pension Plan and Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits.

CPP disability benefits for sleep disorders

The Canada Pension Plan is the pension program of the Federal Government of Canada. If you are working in Canada, then it is highly likely that you are part of the CPP, because it is mandatory for all employees. By law, every employer is required to deduct contributions from the salary of their workers. While most people know that it is the source of retirement pension from the government, you can also get other benefits under the CPP including disability benefits.

It is possible for you to apply for disability benefits if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are considered a recent contributor to the CPP with contributions in four of the last six years, or three of the last six years if you have contributed for at least 25 years.
  • You became disabled before the retirement age of 65.
  • Your disability is both severe and prolonged. A severe disability makes you incapable of pursuing work and earning an income while a prolonged disability is one that is chronic, long-term and will result in permanent damage to your health.

Long-Term disability insurance benefits for sleep disorders

Sleep Apnea And Military Service Connections

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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