Sleep Apnea



Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that has a debilitating effect on the lives of many veterans. Left untreated, sleep apnea can be deadly.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night gasping for air, coughing, or out of breath? Have sleep partners told you that you snore loudly or stop breathing momentarily during sleep? Are you tired during the day or have difficulty concentrating? If so, you might have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is an often-serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during a sleep cycle.  There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea – occurs when the throat muscles relax and block your airway during sleep
  • Central Sleep Apnea – occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Complex (Mixed) Sleep Apnea – a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea

A diagnosis of sleep apnea is commonly confirmed by a sleep study. To treat sleep apnea, medical providers often prescribe a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which delivers air through a mask during sleep.

Veterans with Sleep Apnea

Just like any other VA disability claim, service-connecting sleep apnea can feel like an up-hill battle. At Rob Levine & Associates, our team utilizes a “no stone left unturned” approach to get the job done. We pursue all possible avenues to service-connect your sleep apnea claim, including but not limited to:

  • Directly linking your sleep apnea to your military service
  • Utilizing medical literature showing that your sleep apnea may be caused by service-connected PTSD
  • Outlining evidence showing that your service-connected conditions caused obesity, which led to a sleep apnea diagnosis
  • Developing medical evidence showing that your sleep apnea is secondarily related to another service-connected condition, such as asthma, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, or TBI

Disability Ratings for Sleep Apnea

In recognition that sleep apnea can have a debilitating effect on veterans’ health, the VA often assigns significant ratings for the condition. The VA uses a rating manual with the following ratings for sleep apnea:

  • 100% – Chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention, the need for a tracheostomy, or cor pulmonale (enlargement or failure of the heart)
  • 50% – Use of a CPAP or similar breathing assistance device is required
  • 30% – Persistent daytime hypersomnolence (sleepiness)
  • 0% – No symptoms but has a diagnosis

At Rob Levine and Associates, we have successfully represented hundreds of veterans in their VA disability compensation claims involving sleep apnea. Contact us today and we’ll work hard to get you the benefits you deserve!

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