As awareness is on the rise, more and more people are learning about sleep apnea and the importance of being properly diagnosed and treated. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, disability compensation for sleep apnea is over $1.2 billion dollars. It was back in 1996 when the VA first started to compensate for sleep apnea as per the ratings determined by the Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). There is a lot of debate and controversy about whether or not, veterans should be drawing disability for sleep apnea when being treated with CPAP.
Hence, the Department of Veterans Affairs is taking a closer look at current sleep apnea disability ratings.
If you have or suspect you might have sleep apnea, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.
Phoebe Ochman, Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America, manages all content and communications for the company.
Make Sleep a Priority in 2016Dec 30, 2015You say you want to bring in the New Year with a positive life change that will benefit you and your health. About UsSleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America was founded for the sole purpose of providing superior sleep solutions for our patients to improve their overall quality of life. We seek to gain a thorough understanding of each patient’s sleep disorder and individual medical needs in order to provide the best care and treatment solutions available to effectively treat their sleep condition.
What We DoWe offer a unique and comprehensive form of sleep apnea treatment that effectively seeks to cure sleep apnea over the course of an average of 6 treatments. Having the ability to significantly impact our patients’ lives for the better through improved sleep and minimizing health risks is something that we take great pride in. The Department of Veterans Affairs is reportedly spending over $1.2 billion per year to treat sleep apnea, leading one attorney to call on Congress to investigate.

The number of veterans and military retirees receiving disability compensation from the VA for sleep apnea has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2012, the number of veterans and retirees drawing payments for sleep apnea was 114,103, almost double the number the VA reported in 2009 (57,679).
Philpott estimated that VA compensation for the condition now costs more than $1.2 billion annually. To be sure the number of sleep apnea cases represents a small fraction of disability compensation claims.
In a letter to Miller, first reported by Philpott in Stars and Stripes, Webster explained that as a family lawyer in a military-heavy community, he is seeing first hand “a very disturbing trend” of “widespread abuse of VA disability claims based upon a single ‘disability’ known as sleep apnea,” (emphasis, Webster’s).
According to Webster, none of the sleep apnea compensation recipients he has seen have been disabled at all and most work full time — including retired Air Force pilots that pass flight physicals after retirement in order to get flying jobs. A VA spokesman told TheDC that much of the recent expansion in sleep apnea claims is due to heightened awareness of the illness and the available compensation. Webster — whose father, as a young Marine, lost his right arm in a battleship explosion at sea —- however, told TheDC the issue is the there are veterans with “real” injuries and the sleep apnea claim does not meet a reasonable level of disability.
The VA spokesman said it is not up to the VA to decide what is legitimate and what it not, and that the department is just following current guidelines. In 1996, sleep apnea was added to the VA disability rating schedule as a compensable condition. Obstructive sleep apnea is the partial or full obstruction of a person’s airway, which prevents proper breathing. Of note, what is interesting is the fact that 88 percent of veterans who draw disability benefits are at a 50-percent rating.
This rating was based on studies that estimated ‘average impairment in earnings loss,’ without taking into account treatment.  When a veteran is classified with a 50-percent disability rating, it can increase monthly income to the tune of about $810, at the very least. Even if the classification changes in the future, veterans who are currently drawing disability benefits for sleep apnea would not change or be reduced.

One of the most beneficial resolutions to your overall health is changing your sleep habits.
Please take a look at what our patients are saying and view some of our Sleep Apnea success stories.
983 veterans began to draw disability compensation for sleep apnea in 2001, and in 2012, 24,791 were added to the rolls to treat the condition, according to a report by Tom Philpott in the military publication Stars and Stripes.
In 2012, nearly 14.5 million total veterans were receiving disability compensation, that year 114,103 were receiving payments for sleep apnea. The sufferer can literally stop breathing a few seconds to minutes, and to make matters worse the frequency can be as little as five to over 30 times in any given hour during the course of a night’s sleep. And for that matter, the same could be said of those individuals who would be waiting on disability decisions before any changes went into effect.
Webster, is trying to raise awareness about what he believes to be “legions of military retirees who have no legitimate disabilities whatsoever who are, in essence, scamming and manipulating the VA Disability system,” and is calling on his congressman, Republican Rep.
Well when a diagnosis of sleep apnea is confirmed for either someone on active duty or determined that there is a connection back to time of service, the VA requires this person to be given a 50-percent disability rating.
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