I filed a claim for sleep apnea about 5 years ago. It was denied and I appealed it with more documents and it was still denied saying it wasn't Service Connected.
I think the main reason they said it wasn't Service Connected was because I had my sleep test done a year after I got off of Active Duty. I explained to them that do to me being in DC and sleep tests being done at Walter Reed I couldn't get a sleep test scheduled due to returning soldiers from deployments being taken care of first. I moved to OK and got a Sleep Study immediately and I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea.
Well I have since moved from OK and live in Texas now so my question is now that my records are here in Texas is it possible to appeal my claim since it will be reviewed by a different regional office? Thanks in advance.
Did you have a problem sleeping while you were on active duty? If so, and you went to sick bay with your problem, then it should be document in your medical record.
I'm not a medical type so bear with me, but how did being on active duty cause this condition?
The time to appeal has passed. If you went to the VA for a sleep study, and they did not schedule it, then it would be in their records. As Robbie stated, if you have military records of sleep problems, then you have additional evidence and can reopen your claim. The effective date would be the date you refiled.
First let me say thanks for what you do. I have been reading a bunch of your posts and I am convinced you have helped thousands.
My question has to do with Sleep Apnea. Retired 1 Aug 03 and was diagnosed in Feb 04 with OSA by a civilian provider. Went to the VA and they issued me a CPAP in Apr 04. All of this is in my VA records...I have copies. Why on earth would they deny a Sleep Apnea Claim? I made the claim in Jun 09, just getting the unofficial results from my VSO yesterday in the mail. I thought the time limit was one year from when I got out?
Sleep Apnea is one they seem to deny if not treated in the service, or there is no proof of it existing in the service such as sick bay calls or on the exit physical.
Wow, this condition is not sudden onset is it? Dave, not what I wanted to hear but I guess it is what it is...I desired to hear that if diagnosed within a year the VA would SC it? Guess I will have to get some statements from "those I slept with on deployments" to substantiate that this condition existed during my time on active duty. AGAIN, thanks for what you do! Didn't even realize what SA was until much later after I retired. Actually went and had the sleep study done to try and help the better half who was livid at my sleeping antics! Not too file a claim. Not sure what causes this condition but I wish I could get it fixed!
There are several different causes. Some can be cured. Ask you doctor. If is is caused by an ENT issue or weight, then their are solutions. If not, then the CPAP is the solution.
Question: how long after discharge can this be claimed. I retired in Sept 08, I reported sleep apnea in Oct 08, but it was along time before they got me in for testing.
It is not 3 years later. When did you recieve the final diagnosis from a sleep doctor?
Around 2010 maybe 2009. Not quite sure, This Va at the time had very few facilities to accomplish these test. If before 3 year will they consider it?
The VA Medical Centers I know have plenty of sleep /pulmonary doctors who diagnose and manage the disease. If they ordered the test in Oct 2008 and it took 2 years then you have a case, or if the VA doctor recommended the evaluation. As you retired, you could have used Tricare to get a private evaluation.
Well, not one thing in my SMR or exit physical. However, I have obtained letters from some I served with outlining my sleep apnea symptoms such as snoring, gasping, grunting...I am confident that the VA will SC this disability. I have seen cases all over the BVA decisions page with similar circumstances and the claimant gets SC granted.
If only we knew then what we know now. For 24 years I snored the roof off and my wife was forever poking me in the side.
3 years after retirement (a day late and a dollar short) and a sleep study, the CPAP saved my ribs.
A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'
My advise is to claim it brother. Then search the Board of Veterans Appeals cases. 30 yr. vet, nothing in his service records. Diagnosed 10 years after retirement. The Judge gave SC base on lay letters from him and his wife.
The only guaranteed cure is a tracheostomy. That comes with it's own side effects and or problems. I just attend my yearly check in with the VA and we had a discussion about cures and success rates.
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