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Q175: Currently, I am 90% rated disabled by the VA for diseases resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. I also have severe sleep apnea and have had it for 20+ years. My VSO and private doctor have discouraged me from trying to claim this condition because according to my VSO it is extremely difficult to "connect" it to your time in service. I have documentation in my service medical records that show I had problems associated with sleep apnea, such as drowsiness during the day, but nothing in my medical records show that I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. During the Vietnam era no one ever heard of sleep apnea. I hear from veterans around the VA that many of them have won nice awards for being service-connected for sleep apnea. I have sleep apnea now and I had it during my time in service, so how does one connect this condition to their military time?
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A1: All you have to do is when you submit your claim for it is submit a support letter stating the symptons while in service and if you can get someone you served with or your spouse to sign, it will help. Its how I got mine so just telling you from experience. Once you get the mask from the VA or your doctor, its an automatic 50% rating. (JB) 11/1/18
A2: I have not applied for sleep apnea since my doctor sent me in for the test and I could not use the mask that they used for the test. Actually they tried 3 different mask's and none of them would work with false teeth. They have a new system that just hooks to the nose and I will be trying that here in the future. All I can say is talk to your VA doctor and see if he will send you in for the overnight say and test. If he doesn't think you need the sleep apnea test, he will not send you. Good luck. (GS) 11/1/18
A3: I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea before I was eligible for benefits from water contamination, and continue to only get a couple of hours of sleep a night. The VA has not done anything about it in all my visits. (LC) 11/1/18
A4: Forget the VSO. Get yourself logged into eBenefits and file a claim for that as well as everything on your problem list from the VA. Remember, you can be treated for anything at a VHA clinic but, unless you file a claim with the VBA, you can't get a SC rating. (TB) 11/1/18
A5: I just recently read that sleep apnea can be a symptom of PTSD. I believe I read it on this site. (HE) 11/2/18