Disability question

usmcgeorge

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I was medically retired from my service in the marine corps in May 2013. I put in a claim for sleep apnea in 2013 and the Decision came back July 28, 2014 saying it was denied. to my understanding once I was released from service i have a year to bring up an issues that may be caused of my service, and I complained about the issue. How would i know I had sleep apnea issues while in service so of course nothing was documented at that time. When i did testing for sleep apnea in the va they did prescribe me a CPAP machine.



  • Service connection maybe granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service
  • Service connection for sleep apnea is the night just a condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.
  • The evidence does not show an event disease or injury in service your service treatment records do not contain complaints treatment or diagnostics for this condition
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Perhaps the claim was not demonstrated in a manner in which you were able to show the condition occurred during, or was aggravated while you were untitled to active duty pay. It probably would have been good to file a notice of disagreement or appeal the decision back in 2014.

Are you still using the CPAP? Have you been following up with the sleep clinic regularly? Are you comfortable sharing why you were medically retired from the USMC? Perhaps we can offer suggestions on how you may be able to demonstrate the OSA is service connected.
 

usmcgeorge

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I was medically retired for back and neck surgery when i was med vac from Iraq.. i am 90 % total from va. My highest rating i have is for PTSD which is 70%
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
It should not be hard to draw a nexus between OSA and PTSD to demonstrate that the condition occurred while you were entitled to active duty pay.

https://aasm.org/study-finds-high-risk-of-sleep-apnea-in-young-veterans-with-ptsd/

You should refile the claim with the help from a VSO and get the condition service connected. It is not likely that you still have appellate rights on the initial denial however if you are able to demonstrate that they clearly made an error you may be able to get it back dated.

Here is the verbiage on the VA Form 4107.

How long do I have to start my appeal?

You have one year to start an appeal of our decision. Your Notice of Disagreement must be postmarked (or received by us) within one year from the date of our letter denying you the benefit.

In most cases, you cannot appeal a decision after this one-year period has ended.

What happens if I do not start my appeal on time?

If you do not start your appeal on time, our decision will become final. Once our decision is final, you cannot get the VA benefit we denied unless you either:

Show that we were clearly wrong to deny the benefit or

Send us new evidence that relates to the reason we denied your claim
 

oddpedestrian

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
In February 2019 all reopen claims will be adjudicated using the new VAIMA rules which means you will file a Supplemental claim and must provide new and relevant evidence immediately or your claim will be denied before it started. Most likely you need a nexus connecting it to service or PTSD as you lack evidence in your records to grant the claim without that I believe your claim will be DOA.
 

usmcgeorge

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
In February 2019 all reopen claims will be adjudicated using the new VAIMA rules which means you will file a Supplemental claim and must provide new and relevant evidence immediately or your claim will be denied before it started. Most likely you need a nexus connecting it to service or PTSD as you lack evidence in your records to grant the claim without that I believe your claim will be DOA.
Who could write wrote the nexus? Will that be my ptsd doctor?. Or any doc
 

oddpedestrian

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Who could write wrote the nexus? Will that be my ptsd doctor?. Or any doc
Probably a good idea to get a VSO who will let you know which doctor will give the claim the greatest weight at the bare minimum they need to review your entire C-File, most of these types of claims get denied but a few vets pushed it through and got it SC as a secondary to a MH condition.
 
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