Just got Diagosed with OSA by VA Sleep Study

Blackjack777

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A article in "USA Today" dated 23 May 2014 stated that: soldiers with SA are being compensated by the VA with a 50% disability rating. My question is has anyone been awarded 50% from the VA for OSA??? I recently had a sleep study conducted by the VA which diagnosed me with OSA. I was a title 32 (AGR) soldier for 20 years and I indicated to a Reserve doctor during a physical exam that I was having problems sleeping. All he did was documented this problem on my "Report of Medical History" on the DA Form 2807-1. I am also a "Desert Storm/Desert Shield" veteran. Any insight would be appreciated.
 

scoutCC

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Sleep Apnea has a few different ratings. 50% is the most common, as that rating requires a breathing assistance device for treatment. Most with OSA use a CPAP, hence 50% rating. You may have OSA of a level that is not symptomatic, or that makes you tired, but not rise to the need of a CPAP, or you may have SA or a sort that is too severe for CPAP, so there is no guarantee of 50%.

Sleep Apnea is not a presumptive condition, so the gulf war service doesn't help. There needs to be a nexus between the OSA and active duty service. The easiest way to do this is for the diagnosis to happen while on active duty (training counts), but there are other ways to link the two. The most common way is for it to be secondary to a service connected issue. I.e. a doc writes up that your OSA is as likely as not (50%) chance that your broken back (service connected) caused weight gain due to inactivity, which caused the OSA. Some have tried to link the symptoms starting while on active duty, i.e. your physical exam showing that your sleeping problems started on X date, but the diagnosis came later (would help if the exam was done just before or after an activated period).

The difficult problem for reservists is if the injury or illness started while deployed or in training or otherwise activated (I believe 2 weeks in the summer qualifies), it is compensated, but the time between is not covered. If the condition started while at your non-military job, no VA compensation. This is more obvious is trauma cases as you can pin down the event that started the broken arm or what have you. OSA it can be hard (impossible?) to pin down the exact date of the start of the condition when you need to argue it started at a time besides diagnosis. Reasonable disagreements between the two sides, the tie is supposed to go to the veteran, however, the date of diagnosis is pushing the judgement away from service connection and may be difficult to overcome.

As you can tell from that article, there is some disagreement with the rating level for OSA and a great deal of suspicion on why so many claims are coming in. Nobody seems to note that few service member now being newly diagnosed with the condition are not obese, just note that obese is the only recognized cause. Who wants to pay for problems for ugly fat people seems to be just under the surface. Due to this, it is typically harder to service connect than other conditions. The examples I have read, the VA disregards earlier symptoms justifying the condition starting in service out of hand.

http://www.hadit.com/forums/topic/48251-sleep-apnea-granted/ shows an example of someone being granted the connection. Hadit or yuku vets is often a better source for these questions, as they are more focused towards veterans dealing with the system, rather than service members dealing with the system like this board.
 

Warrior644

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A article in "USA Today" dated 23 May 2014 stated that: soldiers with SA are being compensated by the VA with a 50% disability rating. My question is has anyone been awarded 50% from the VA for OSA??? I recently had a sleep study conducted by the VA which diagnosed me with OSA. I was a title 32 (AGR) soldier for 20 years and I indicated to a Reserve doctor during a physical exam that I was having problems sleeping. All he did was documented this problem on my "Report of Medical History" on the DA Form 2807-1. I am also a "Desert Storm/Desert Shield" veteran. Any insight would be appreciated.

Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

Indeed; I received an official OSA with CPAP medical diagnosis while on active duty via a sleep study nearly four years AFTER my last combat tour in support of OIF & OEF; therefore, awarded a DoVA 50% final rating upon receipt of my VA Rating Decision last month.

Currently, it's my intent to submit an additional DoVA disability claim requesting that my OSA with CPAP medical condition be categorized as a secondary condition to my severe/chronic PTSD due to the onset date of this medical condition started AFTER my last OIF/OEF combat tour.

Morover, official medical studies have been completed validating that former military service members with PTSD who experience severe/chronic sleep impairments as a recognized cause of sleep apnea symptomatology. Obesity was a non-factor in my particular situation since I was never a participant of the Army Body Composition Program (AR 600-9) previously known as the Army Weight Control Program!

With that all said, if the aforementioned DoVA disability claim is approved then my forthcoming submittal of a CRSC application shall include the OSA with CPAP as a military service-connection "combat-related" secondary medical condition for a potentially increased overall CRSC award. Take care and continue to enjoy life! :cool:

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

Best Wishes!
 

Blackjack777

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Thanks for the information. I have noticed that "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" and "Fibromyalgia" all seem to have the same symptoms. If a person is diagnosed with OSA, could they also claim CFS and FIB also since they all encompass the same symptoms. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

scoutCC

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CFS and Fibromyalgia are both diagnoses of last resort. There is no test that says you have one of those, so its a matter of ruling out diseases they can test for. Their symptoms are vague and cover a great many conditions, but have some symptoms that should be present that wouldn't be present with OSA (OSA generally doesn't lead to pain issues), generally CFS is if tiredness is more prevelant, Fibro is more if pain is the primary symptom. If all those other diagnoses are ruled out, then one of those apply. If the symptoms persists after the OSA treatment, then it may lead to a CFS and Fibro diagnosis.
 

Warrior644

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Thanks for the information. I have noticed that "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" and "Fibromyalgia" all seem to have the same symptoms. If a person is diagnosed with OSA, could they also claim CFS and FIB also since they all encompass the same symptoms. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Indeed, you are welcome! :)

In my opinion, you can submit a DoVA claim for any medical condition then the DoVA should assist with the determination of a medical diagnosis (if non available) and whether it's military service connected or not.

At the end of the day, it's ultimately your choice to claim additional medical conditions or medical diagnoses due to persistent symptomatology...do what you think is best for your particular medical healthcare situation for sure! Take care and continue to enjoy life! :cool:

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

Best Wishes!
 

Rhino5

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This is interesting, I never even snored prior to my first year of living next to burn pits. Now I'm on CPAP evey night and even for naps to get any sleep. I would think there is a connection, but I know they make drawing that connection harder than just that line.
 
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