Can Sleep Apnea Be Linked to Military Service?

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Can Sleep Apnea Be Linked to Military Service?

In order to receive VA disability benefits, you must be able to link your military service to your injury or illness – or exacerbation of either. If the condition you are suffering from is sleep apnea, you may have concerns regarding whether or not it qualifies as a disability, and the truth is that it can. Proving that any qualifying condition is service-connected, however, is challenging, which makes working with an experienced Illinois veterans disability benefits attorney the surest path forward. 

The Basics of Sleep Apnea Benefits

To begin, you will need to demonstrate that one of the following is true:

  • Your sleep apnea is directly related to your military service, which means showing that you acquired sleep apnea while in the military.
  • Your sleep apnea was made worse during the course of your military service, which means showing that it progressed to acid reflux, chronic rhinitis, asthma, hypertension, or another related health concern

Sleep apnea affects millions of people across the country, but veterans are more likely than others to be diagnosed with this serious condition.

The Effects of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can affect every aspect of your life because it affects your ability to sleep. In turn, your ability to do your job, advance your career, and live life to the fullest can be thwarted. If you are a veteran with sleep apnea, this diagnosis can play a critical role in your ability to obtain total disability individual unemployability (TDIU) benefits.

The effects of sleep apnea can include all the following:

  • Snoring – from mild to intense
  • Choking during your sleep
  • Experiencing extended pauses in your breathing while you sleep

Proving Your Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

For purposes of your VA disability rating, you will need to prove that you have sleep apnea and will need to demonstrate its severity. This requires going to a medical professional and having a sleep study performed. If you obtained this diagnosis while you were in the military, it can bolster your claim, but this is not a requirement.  

The primary elements of every successful sleep apnea claim include the following:

  • A diagnosis of sleep apnea with strong evidence backing it up
  • A means of demonstrating that the sleep apnea came on or worsened while you were in the military, which generally involves a collation of your service and medical records 
  • A nexus – or connection – between the diagnosis and the service event that led to your condition, which a nexus letter from a doctor with the appropriate accreditation can help establish

You Need an Experienced Illinois Veterans Disability Benefits Attorney on Your Side

James R. Comerford at The Comerford Law Office – Illinois is a distinguished veterans disability benefits attorney who dedicates his impressive practice to fiercely advocating for the rights of veterans like you. Your claim is important to your future, so please don’t put off contacting us for more information about what we can do for you today.

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