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sleep apnea va disability rating

Anybody can go online and find the Sleep Apnea VA Disability Rating criteria.

You may have found this page searching for that very phrase.

But you’re not really asking for that.

What you’re REALLY wanting to know is how to get the Sleep Apnea VA Disability Rating you believe you are entitled to.

If you really are just wanting to know the various percentages of disability for the Sleep Apnea VA Disability Rating table, you can get that information here.

A LOT of Veterans are wanting to know this information.  Why?

Sleep Apnea is quickly becoming a hallmark injury for Veterans that served in the Persian Gulf Wars – and is appearing at an alarming rate in the Vietnam Veteran population.

And as I found out when I looked at a year of BVA Sleep Apnea decisions, 3 out of every 4 Veterans will be denied service connection for their sleep apnea by the BVA.

I thought, at first, that it was due to the complaints of that family law attorney in Florida that tried to argue that Veterans hampered by sleep apnea aren’t REALLY disabled and that they were defrauding the government.

Thankfully, time has pushed the “Mute” button on that uninformed clown. That’s too bad: I challenged him to a debate – broadcast via Google+ Hangout –  on the causes of Sleep Apnea in the Veteran’s community.  The response?  Crickets. Or chickens squawking….same difference.

In any event, as I talked to hundreds of Veterans, studied their sleep apnea claim C-Files, read the BVA decisions, and talk to medical doctors and sleep specialists….I found what I believe to be the single greatest reason 75% of you will be denied service-connection for sleep apnea.


Why Will 75% of Veterans be Denied Service Connection for Sleep Apnea? 

I spent nearly a year  researching this question before writing my book “Put it to Rest! Your VA Sleep Apnea Claim.”

VA Sleep Apnea Field Manual Paperback

Get the VA Sleep Apnea Field Manual….PAPERBACK Version!

In all that research, I found that there is one BIG reason that  many of you get denied service connection for sleep apnea – you’re leaving it to the VA to put it all together for you.

Most veteran start out the process by looking at those rating criteria and say “I’ve got a CPAP…I’ve got sleep apnea…the VA should pay me 50% disability each month”.

It’s not that simple.  I wish it was but it’s not.

You’re not going to win a VA claim just by telling the VA  you’ve got sleep apnea.

You’re not going to win a VA Sleep Apnea Claim by asking the VA to connect the dots for you.

3 Things You Can Do – Right Now – to Maximize Your Sleep Apnea VA Disability Rating.

These 3 Steps aren’t “easy” – but they are simple.  It’s precisely what I do whenever I represent a client with a sleep apnea claim.

 #1: Learn How to File Your VA Sleep Apnea Claim – the Right Way.

Any time I talk to a Veteran about their VA Sleep Apnea claim, their questions center on 2 things – what do I use to prove that my VA Sleep Apnea is service connected, and how do I get the VA to move quicker?

Many times, those questions have the same answer:  File Your VA Claim – the Right Way – from the very start.

* Find out WHAT evidence you need to put in your VA Claim.

* Find out HOW to make the arguments in a way that makes them easy for a rater to understand.

It’s a simple fact that if you put the RIGHT evidence into your claim, and explain in a very clean and basic way how that evidence shows your sleep apnea is service connected, your claim will go quicker.   And you will probably get better results.

When you are ready to start learning How to File Your VA Claim the right way, click here & read this  post.

#2: Get an OBJECTIVE picture of what’s going on in your claim.

But what if you already filed your VA Claim?  OR you’ve been denied repeatedly for Sleep Apnea service connection?

It’s vital that you let go of the emotion – the anger and frustration with the VA – for just enough time to  take a hard, realistic look at what’s in your C-File.

Get your VA C-File. Take a critical look at the evidence that’s already in there.

Did your sleep study from the military never make it to the VA?

Are they looking at another Veteran’s records?

Did your VSO sell you up the river?

Beyond those very dangerous situations, pull out all the evidence in your C-File related to your sleep apnea claim, and see what it’s REALLY saying.

It’s vital to be objective here – you have to be able to see the C-File from the VA’s perspective.

If you have a hard time doing this, find a family member or friend whose opinion you trust, and ask them to look at your sleep apnea evidence and tell you – with no B.S. – what they see and don’t see

#3: Determine which Path – or Paths – to Service Connection are BEST for your Claim.

Once you have an idea of what’s in your C-File, it’s time to get a handle on what is truly causing your sleep apnea.

I’m not telling you that you have to KNOW the exact cause of your Sleep Apnea before you file a claim or appeal.  The legal burden you have to show is that your Sleep Apnea is “at least as likely as not” related to your military service.

I’m telling you to understand enough about the cause of your Sleep Apnea that you choose the appropriate Path to Service Connection.

There are 5 paths to service connection – a lot of Veterans don’t know this.  Many Veterans don’t know that they can argue more than one in a single claim.

In fact, after reviewing  Sleep Apnea decisions and C-Files for 9 months, I can tell you that most Veterans tell the VA:  “I had sleep problems in service, now I’m diagnosed with sleep apnea –  isn’t it obvious that they are related?”

I’m here to tell you it’s NOT that  obvious.

That doesn’t mean it has to be difficult.

The 3 hallmark injuries of the Persian Gulf War (PTSD, TBI, MST) have a causative connection with Sleep Apnea.

Diabetes – which is known to be caused by Agent Orange exposure – has a causative connection with Sleep Apnea.

And there are at least 39 medical conditions – common among Veterans – that have a known causative connection or proven correlation with sleep apnea.

Get a good handle on which Path to Service Connection is right for your  Sleep Apnea claim, and then move to the next step.

#4:  Pack your Claim with 5-Star Lay and Medical Evidence.

A single sleep apnea sleep study diagnosing sleep apnea is rarely going to be enough to prove your claim.

You’re going to need lay and medical evidence to build the causative chain of symptoms and diagnoses.

You’re going to want to start with your time in service, and  build the lay and medical evidence to show the VA that all or your sleep apnea symptoms and limitations and diagnoses – over whatever duration of time – all share one thing in common they are related to – or had their origin in – your military service.

What do I mean?

If you just had symptoms and limitations of sleep apnea in service and a post-discharge diagnosis, you’re going to have to make it obvious that the symptoms and the diagnosis are related.

If you had a diagnosis of sleep apnea in service AND a post-service diagnosis of sleep apnea … unless the 2 diagnoses are really close together and diagnose the same “type” of sleep apnea, you’re going to need to connect them together for the VA with lay evidence and a medical opinion.

Don’t just use lay evidence.

Don’t just use medical evidence.

Use them both together.  Using one without the other is like running a marathon barefoot – even if you could do it, why would you make it so hard on yourself?

What’s Next?

Like what you read here?

Learn “How to File a VA Claim

Pick up a copy of my Book, “Put it to Rest! Your VA Sleep Apnea Claim”.

Study my 8 Steps to Improve your VA Disability Claim.

Click here to get a copy of the VA Sleep Apnea Book – in paperback format.


  1. Dan Sanders

    I served during the Persian Gulf war, took the Pyrostigmine Bromide tablets and the Anthrax vaccine, I retired in 1997, by 2003 i was diagnosed with Diabetes and in 2009 severe sleep apnea. Is there a correlation to the PB tablets and Anthrax vaccines?

    • Chris Attig


      That’s a good question – I will put in on my ‘research list’….in writing the VA Sleep Apnea book, I did not come across any literature that suggested a condition between Sleep Apnea and the PB or Anthrax tablets.

      But all that means is that nobody has published a study on this – you should talk to your doctor to see if there is a connection, there are tests that they may be able to perform.



    Hello. I’m a Disabled Vietnam Veteran. I was recently diagnosed with “Sleep Apnea”. I really enjoyed reading the information regarding the three steps to maximize your sleep apnea VA disability rating. I’ve submitted and filed several claims in the past 12 years. At the current time, I’m at the cross roads of either retiring next year or working until I’m 70. Mentally I feel like 20, but physically, my body is in bad shape due to illnesses suffered while in service and caused by exposures to asbestos and agent orange. If I could win my claim for sleep apnea, I might make it to 100%….if I live long enough. Anyways, all I need is a little helping hand. Sincerely, Jon

  3. darrell mccreary

    I was diagnosed with rhinitis while in the marine. I also developed asthma. Can theses be linked to my sleep apnea?

    • Chris Attig


      Specifically as it relates to you, I have no idea. That is a question that your doctor can answer.

      Generally, however, conditions like asthma and rhinitis tend to restrict the flow of air into the lungs, which is what Obstructive Sleep Apnea is all about…the obstruction of the flow of air into your lungs while you are sleeping.

      Talk to your doctor to see if the asthma and rhinitis conditions from the military are at least as likely as not related to your sleep apnea and, if so, get the Doctor to explain the medical reason in writing, and submit that to the VA as part of your claim.


  4. eric

    I find this very useful

  5. Dennis Borelli

    Let’s see…could my sleep apnea be related to the many nights trying to sleep while listening to bombs? or while working 12 hour shifts on alternating day-swing-midnight schedules for over 2 years? or due to the stress of trying to sleep in barracks situated directly on the flightline with bombers and fighter aircraft?

    • Chris Attig


      Absolutely. There are strong connections between sleep apnea (particularly Central Sleep Apnea) and mental health conditions such as PTSD, GAD or MDD.

      I haven’t seen much research connecting sleep schedule to sleep apnea…but your doctor should be the “final word” on that. If your doctor thinks that is the cause, it’s something he/she should be telling the VBA.


  6. John Everett

    I’d love to know more about how to Maximize my Sleep Apnea VA Disability Rating.


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