If you have had your sleep apnea VA claim denied, you’re not alone. While VA claims for sleep apnea are common, it does not mean they are automatically accepted. Unfortunately, if the VA denied sleep apnea claim for you or your loved one, it might be due to a lack of evidence or other issues.
The good news is that you can appeal the decision if your sleep apnea VA claim has been denied. An experienced disability appeal lawyer can help review your case and advise on how to proceed. Having an attorney by your side while appealing the decision will ensure that all legal steps are taken, that your claim process is handled as fast as possible, and that you get the care you need to help cover costs related to your sleep apnea.
Below are some things you need to know if your VA claim is denied.
Reasons Why Your Sleep Apnea VA Claim Is Denied
If you have a VA claim denied, you may wonder if it happens often. Yes, it happens more than you might think. Below are some of the many reasons why your sleep apnea VA claim may have been denied:
Lack of Evidence
The VA requires evidence of a current disability, such as diagnostic tests, medical records, and statements from healthcare providers. If the VA does not find enough evidence to establish a current disability, it will be denied. For your sleep apnea disability, you should submit evidence that your sleep apnea is currently affecting your life. For instance, if your sleep apnea prevents you from doing any of the following, you should submit evidence of these symptoms:
- Having regular sleeping habits
- Engaging in physical activities
- Having a normal quality of life
You may need to provide additional evidence that your sleep apnea is affecting your daily life. Unfortunately, many veterans have been trained to downplay their conditions, and as a result, many claims are often denied.
Poor C&P Exam
Your C&P Exam, or Compensation and Pension Examination, is one of the most important components of your claim. Unfortunately, if this exam was done poorly, it may have resulted in a denial of your sleep apnea claim.
During the exam, your interviewer will ask you questions about your condition. Your statements can be interpreted as not having a disability. They can result in the denial of your claim, so knowing how to answer the questions is crucial.
If you feel that your C&P exam was done improperly or if pertinent evidence was not included, you should reach out to an experienced lawyer that can help make sure all the right steps are taken prior to submitting your appeal. You might be able to redo your exam, have another doctor review your existing evidence, or even include further evidence, such as an independent medical opinion. Our attorneys at Centonzio Law, PLLC, can help decide the best strategy for appealing your sleep apnea claim.
Lack of Service Connection
Even if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, it must be connected to your service or another service-related injury or illness in order for you to receive benefits. It is important to provide evidence that shows the relationship between your service and the onset of sleep apnea. This can include medical records, statements from healthcare providers, or information about any pre-existing conditions that may have caused sleep apnea.
For instance, studies now show that PTSD can lead to sleep apnea, so if you have an existing diagnosis of PTSD, and there is sufficient evidence connecting your sleep apnea to your PTSD, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Sleep apnea may also be caused by smoking, obesity, or an accident. If those conditions are connected to your service, you may be able to get your sleep apnea service connected.
It is important to provide evidence of the connection between your service and sleep apnea in order to be approved for benefits. An experienced lawyer can help with this process by helping you find evidence and presenting it to the VA in the right way.
Appealing A Denied Sleep Apnea VA Claim
If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. If your claim is in the Legacy System, you must submit a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) to the VA Regional Office within one year of receiving the denial letter in order to begin the appeals process. If your claim is in the Modernized System, there are multiple appeal options. You can choose to submit a Higher-Level Review, Supplemental Claim, or a direct appeal to the Board. After this is submitted, your case will be reviewed and a decision will be made.
It is important to remember that the appeals process can take some time, so it is best to start submitting evidence and paperwork as soon as possible in order to increase your chances of approval. Consider hiring an experienced disability appeal lawyer who can help you further appeal the decision or even file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Looking for an Attorney to Help With Your Denied Sleep Apnea Claim?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have lasting effects on your daily life, and it is important that veterans receive the benefits they deserve for their service-related disability. However, due to the complexities of filing VA claims, many sleep apnea claims are denied. It is important to make sure you have all the evidence and documentation necessary in order to increase your chances of being approved for benefits.
At Centonzio Law, PLLC, we exist to help veterans with denied sleep apnea claims. Our experienced attorneys will work with you to make sure all the right steps are taken in order for your claim to be successfully approved. Do not hesitate to contact us today if you have had your sleep apnea VA claim denied. Let us help you get the sleep apnea disability compensation you deserve!