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  Do you have questions about how to service connect sleep apnea claims? Y
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12 Comments

  1. samoa

    Chris,
    VA initially denied (1ST) my SA claim in 2014, I became a premium member in 2015 and followed your training guides step by step, medical expert opinion, 10 sworn declaration statements by family members, co-workers in service and post-service. I filed to reopen my SA claim in 2016. VA denied it again (2nd) in late 2016 “No treatment” in service, VA totally ignoring evidence submitted. I filed NOD in early 2017 request an informal DRO. I spoke with DRO via phone for 5min confirming she received my NOD and evidence. I rec’d another denial (3rd) Jun 30, 2017. DRO sided with VA expert (not surprise) who claimed SA was “least likely as not” occurred or caused by service, moreover, VA expert justified opinion by THE FOLLOWINGS;(time 12yrs since retirement, age 50 at the time of sleep study, and weight gain ?). VA’s expert indicated the RISK-FACTORS of my SP was a results of what he had listed. YEP!!!

    NOT GOING TO GIVE UP, I filed a FOIA for a copy VA expert’s opinion in preparation for another NOD, this time I’m requesting a formal face to face meeting with DRO. I met with my expert who offered opinion on my behalf and she was amazed by the decision, but not surprise by the level in which the VA are denying veterans’ SP claims. My expert agreed to write a rebuttal opinion to the VA’s expert. Battle of “DUAL-EXPERTS” Chris, you called it!!! My next stop is going to be BVA, hopefully I don’t have to go there without taking another bite at the DRO processes. I don’t know if I’m authorize a second run at the DRO or go straight to BVA. I only have 50 days to file NOD, or file a BVA appeal within 1 year.

    Chris, thank you for the posts and training videos you are providing to veterans. It is the only thing that kept in the fight and especially it keeps sane and focus. Otherwise, I would properly ended up in mental health facility or going insane!!! THANK YOU AGAIN.

    Semper FI
    Sam

    Reply
    • Chris Attig

      You’re welcome, Sam! There’s so much information, so many Veterans, and so much delay that it sometimes feels like this battle will never end.

      One step at a time, one claim at a time, one veteran at a time….we vets are winning!!

      Keep up the great work, and remember, the only way to lose is to give up!

      Chris

      Reply
  2. MIKE HOMCHICK

    sleep apnea is DEADLY, my brother in law went out CAMPING. without his BI-PAP MACHINE,one up from CPAP,which i have. UNFORTUNATELY HE DIED.! HE WAS A VET, HE AND I SERVED IN NELLIS AFB BEFORE I GOT OUT,the hard way. if our guys/gals have SLEEP APNEA in the field THAT COULD KILL THEM.!!

    Reply
  3. James Justice

    Just had C& P exam for sleep apnea. Also sinusitis, rhinitis, hypertension. Will be some time before answer but getting all the info I can. Viet Nam Vet. Thanks for your concern and the blog.

    Reply
    • Chris Attig

      James,

      Keep us posted – I’m eager to hear how it turns out!

      Chris

      Reply
  4. Michael Read

    Have sleep apnea, AO esposed, ’65 in VN; being treated for mild PTSD for one & 1/2yrs.; claim denied; hearing aids supplied but disability denied;pre-diabetic; high blood pressure.

    Reply
  5. Erin martinez

    I have sleep apnea and emphysema. I believe the two are connected. I cannot get the sleep apnea connected. My emphysema is connected. I have also had a stroke.

    Reply
  6. Chuck Peterson

    I’m 50% connected with PTSD and currently have an appeal in for 100% on PTSD. I have sleep apnea diagnosed by the VA sleep study. Because of my PTSD meds and sleep apnea I have gained considerable weight as well as an underactive thyroid. My sleep apnea is worsened when I lie on my back and I still have loss of breath. I awake countless time at night due to this.

    Reply
  7. kevin wilkins

    Has camp Lejeune exposures been linked to sleep apnea?

    Reply
    • Chris Attig

      Not presumptively. But if your doctor believes that your Sleep Apnea is somehow related to exposure to TCE’s or benzene in the water at Camp Lejeune, then a good medical opinion would probably help you prove a direct service connection claim.

      Chris

      Reply
  8. Peter tebbetts

    I am service connected for chronic sinusitis with a 30% rating. I also have central and obstructive sleep apnea which has been denied service connection. I have tried to connect OSA secondary to chronic sinusitis which has also been denied. I have had cardiomegly X-rays while on active duty. I stated on my retirement physical that I sometimes have trouble sleeping at night. I was diagnosed with OSA 10 years after separation. I did not have a va physical until about 13 years after seperation from service. I am also service connected for chronic bronchitis with a rating of 0 %. Any advice on getting sleep apnea service connected?

    Reply
    • Chris Attig

      Of course, I don’t give legal advice on the Veterans Law Blog. No blog, and no eBook can substitute for legal advice from an accredited VA attorney.

      That said, the key here is making the connection from service to diagnosis. A couple things you mention are worth exploring:

      Damage to the nasal or breathing passages, like chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, can cause OSA. A medical opinion will be necessary to show these causative connection, and you will want to first service connect the sinusitis, and then argue that the OSA is secondary or argue that the OSA is secondary to the bronchitis. Medical opinions will be CRUCIAL, as these are not “NECESSARY” connections.

      Take a look at the Sleep Apnea eBook when it comes out – I think you will find a lot of informaiton that will help you understand better the many different paths and proofs for service connection of Sleep Apnea.

      Chris

      Cardiomegaly – enlargement of the heart – makes me thing of a damage resulting from a chronic sleep apnea condition. Long term chronic sleep apnea can cuse the heart to work harder, thus causing it to enlarge. However, there are more causes of Cardiomegaly than sleep apnea, so you will want a doctor’s medical opinoino as to whether your Cardiomegaly is related to a chronic sleep breathing disorder, or has some other origin.

      Reply

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