I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea for about 10 years now. I am also a Veteran and attempted to file a claim for disability with the VA. Short version, it was denied because they deemed it not to be service connected , as it was diagnosed approximately 1.5 years after separation from active duty. The VA can approve claims in this fashion if there is sufficient evidence that the condition existed while on active duty. Of course, they generally deny these claims on the first go-around and appeals are required to have it revisited.
This may be hard to explain, or I’m making it harder than it needs to be. I’m at the beginning stages of gathering information on whether sleep apnea can show signs of the disorder years before actually being diagnosed and how to present my appeal to the VA in a way that can prove it existed while I was still on active duty. I’m finding it difficult to find any information on this but with the internet, its almost guaranteed someone has encountered some kind of similar situation.
What should I be looking for in my military medical records?
Are there clinical studies that may touch on this subject that would bolster my appeal?
Is it likely my neurologist would be willing to provide written documentation to corroborate that the condition existed before initial diagnosis?
Anyone with similar experience or someone that might have some resources, please reach out to me.