What causes Sleep Apnea in Veterans?

Are you in the process of proving your sleep apnea claim? Like many veterans face daily, there are quite a few steps that you must take to ensure your request gets reviewed and approved by the VA. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right page where VA Claims Insider will show you 3 Ways to Prove Your Sleep Apnea Claim.

One of the reasons why sleep apnea claims are such a hot topic is because, according to the VA statistics, three out four veterans get denied yearly! That’s an astounding number that stands out. That means that only 25% of veterans that apply for a sleep apnea claim are approved.

Sleep Apnea SECRETS with THE VA Claims Insider

3 Ways To Prove Your Sleep Apnea Claim:

#1. Sleep Apnea MUST be Service-Connected

One main reason why veterans repeatedly get denied by the VA is that they submit their sleep apnea claim with no clear evidence of service-connection. What does that mean?

As the phrase implies, “Service-connected” means that the disability aggravated while in service. If you were diagnosed while in the service, and you have consistent documentation, then you have a better chance of getting a service-connection.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of cases where sleep apnea is commonly diagnosed in the service.

#2. What if you conducted the study after you separated or retired?

Most veterans fall in the category of conducting a sleep study when they got out (including myself), and it was evident by the doctor that you had sleep apnea and had a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. Acquiring a CPAP machine still does not constitute an automatic claim approval. On the bright side, since the VA provided the CPAP machine, that means it’s in your medical records.

Your medical records are essential in all of your claims. Especially when it comes to sleep apnea, a complex process where most of the information will depend on how well it’s been service-connected.

#3. Secondary To A Current Rated Disability

One solution is to claim secondary to a current rated disability, such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Why PTSD? Research has shown that having PTSD has a higher chance of developing sleep apnea. The connection between the two is directly correlated.

A secondary condition occurs when a service-connected condition, or treatment for that condition, causes or aggravates another condition. That other condition would be “secondarily” service-connected. By understanding what a secondary condition is, it will be easier to connect the dots in the primary state.

Because proving your sleep apnea claim is such a complicated process, many veterans go the route of obtaining a rated PTSD disability by the VA. Most vets can vouch for PTSD while in the service. Again, you will need to gather the medical information to prove your PTSD.

Sleep Apnea MUST have Lay Evidence and Medical Evidence

In the previous section, service-connection is key to build your claim and ensure to the VA that you have ample documentation. The lay evidence outlines the symptoms that occurred while in the service, such as snoring, fatigue, and gasps of oxygen while sleeping. The medical evidence comes from a medical professional stating that the symptoms were probably presented as sleep apnea even though you are not in the service anymore.

The process previously stated may seem arduous, but to prove your claim, you must do your due diligence on gathering all of the required information. Remember that 3 out of 4 veterans get denied on their sleep apnea claim? Well, this section is crucial, ensuring that you have presented the critical information which can be well on your way of approving your claim.

Here’s an article on ​How to File a VA Claim for PTSD.

Once you have a current and rated PTSD connection, then you will pursue the sleep apnea claim.

According to an article on Psychiatry Advisor, “The implication is that veterans who come to PTSD treatment, even younger veterans, should be screened for obstructive sleep apnea. They have the opportunity to be diagnosed and treated,” co-principal investigator Sonya Norman, a researcher at the San Diego VA, said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

“This is critical information because sleep apnea is a risk factor for a long list of health problems such as hypertension [high blood pressure], cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. And psychological problems including depression, worsening PTSD and anxiety,” she explained.

Currently, the link between sleep apnea and PTSD in Veterans is not clear. The possible factors creating a link between PTSD and sleep apnea can be chronic stress from PTSD, poor sleep, and combat-related sleep disturbances.

Sleep Apnea VA Ratings

If a veteran requires a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, the VA disability rating for sleep apnea is at 50 percent or above. With increased claims, the rating schedule for sleep apnea is expected to be included in the VA’s overhaul of the rating schedule (38 CFR Part 4), though no recent changes.

The most current disability rating and severity of symptoms can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations – 38 CFR 4.97 Schedule of ratings—respiratory system:


● 100% – chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention, the need for a tracheostomy, or cor pulmonale. Cor pulmonale is the enlargement or failure of the right side of the heart due to lung disease.


● 50% – if a veteran requires the use of a breathing assistance device, such as a CPAP machine

● 30% – the Veteran is experiencing persistent daytime hypersomnolence (i.e., a condition characterized by chronic daytime sleepiness that does not improve even with sufficient sleep)


● 0% – if the Veteran’s status is asymptomatic (i.e., a condition that is not producing symptoms) but has a documented sleep disorder

If your VA Disability claim for Sleep Apnea has been denied, do not give up the fight! We have helped thousands of Veterans get what they deserve, including winning sleep apnea claims! When you’re ready, this is the fastest way to get started.

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀

VA RATERS REVEAL
3 *SECRET*
VA CLAIM TIPS!

Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on VA.gov (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.