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Sleep apnea claims are spiking among veterans

The media, the medical community and governmental regulators have spent considerable time and resources addressing the issue of sleep apnea in recent years. Sleep apnea occurs when an individual stops breathing for relatively short periods of time during sleep.

One of the primary reasons that this medical condition has received so much attention in recent years is that the poor sleep quality which results from sleep apnea is affecting the ability of the nation’s commercial truck drivers to operate their vehicles safely and effectively. However, commercial truck drivers are not the only population of Americans suffering from sleep apnea and its hazardous side effects.

In recent years, an increasing number of the nation’s veterans have filed claims for veterans disability benefits as a result of their sleep apnea. Last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation received the news that since 2001, the number of disability claims that have been paid in connection with sleep apnea has jumped 25-fold.

The committee was given several recommendations at that time that would essentially overhaul the ways in which the VA handles claims related to sleep apnea. Although the VA has yet to publically act on these recommendations, the agency could potentially do so at any time. Therefore, it is imperative that any veteran with a sleep apnea condition requiring disability compensation speak with an attorney about your options. If you wait too much longer, the VA could make it much more difficult for you to receive your benefits by the time that you choose to submit a claim.

Source: HeraldNet, “VA, Congress yawn as sleep apnea claims rise,” Tom Philpott, Feb. 28, 2014

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