The Department of Veterans Affairs is studying changes to disability ratings for obstructive sleep apnea, particularly the 50-percent rating being awarded when VA physicians prescribe use of a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, for sleep-deprived veterans.
This day members wanted to know about sleep apnea including how the condition is rated in its various forms, how service-connection is established for a disorder largely associated with obesity, and what factors are behind the recent explosion of claims, as reported here in late May.
One issue addressed was conventional wisdom by some sleep disorder experts that sleep apnea is related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Weight remains the most common cause of sleep apnea, Hughes said, even when diagnosed in service.

Indeed, until VA and the Department of Defense integrated disability evaluation systems for members being medically retired, 99 percent of service members diagnosed with sleep apnea only got a zero percent rating from their branch of service, Hughes said. Hughes said a CPAP is not effective for treating persons with the less common “central” sleep apnea, which usually is caused by cardiac failure or neurologic disease and treated with drugs. Hughes indicated VA benefit and health experts already were at work on reforming VASRD for respiratory illnesses including sleep apnea. A federal law that prohibited people from wearing military medals they didn’t earn is unconstitutional for the same reason as a law that made it a crime to lie about earning a medal, a federal appeals court ruled Monday: It’s a falsehood that is protected by freedom of speech.

Scott asked colleagues to back his recommendation that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki commission the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Science, to conduct a study of sleep apnea in the veteran population.
Scharton remains still as a sleep technician with Madigan Army Medical Center applies a sensor during a sleep study at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., on Nov.

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Comments Sleep apnea military disability rating

  1. Anita
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  2. IlkinGunesch
    Proper therapy, but others may.
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