Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Around 22 million Americans suffer from a common condition known as sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes a person’s breathing to repeatedly stop and start. Veterans who suffer from this condition typically file disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in an attempt to get compensation for the care required to correct this health problem. In fact, nearly 26% of the body system disability claims submitted to the VA involved sleep apnea.
If you are thinking of submitting a disability claim to the VA, you probably have a few questions and concerns. The following are some of the most common questions people have about VA sleep apnea claims.
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.
Can Sleep Apnea Be a Service-Related Disability?
Simply being diagnosed as having sleep apnea isn’t enough to get a VA disability claim approved. As previously mentioned, you will have to show how this health problem either started or worsened during active duty, or that it is related to another service-connected disability. Accomplishing this will require you to create a timeline filled with credible medical evidence. While this may sound like an easy thing to do, it can often prove to be complex.
What Types of Sleep Apnea Does the VA Recognize?
Another important piece of information that may be considered is understanding what types of sleep apnea the VA recognizes. These include:
· Central Sleep Apnea- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) is classified as a sleep disorder that prohibits the brain from sending signals to the brain that tell the muscles to breathe. Having this type of sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems like stroke, heart attacks and even cervical spine issues.
· Obstructive Sleep Apnea- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when the muscles in a person’s throat relax while they are sleeping. This muscle relaxation leads to either a partial or complete blockage of a person’s airways. This is considered the most common form of sleep apnea and can also be hazardous to your health.
· Complex Sleep Apnea- This form of sleep apnea is basically a combination of both OSA and CSA.
Do You Need an Independent Medical Opinion?
If you need an Independent Medical Opinion to use as part of your VA disability application, contact Prestige Worldwide Medical Consulting today!