Your Guide to VA Ratings: Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be a serious condition that may impact day-to-day life and can increase the risk of serious medical issues such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Sleep apnea may be a service-connected condition for veterans disability benefits, or it may be secondary to a service-connected condition.
The VA recognizes three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. All three are treated the same for disability rating purposes.
VA Ratings for Sleep Apnea
Currently, 38 C.F.R. Part 4 provides for four possible disability ratings for sleep apnea:
- 0%: A 0% disability rating is assigned when the veteran has been diagnosed with this condition but is not experiencing symptoms. A veteran with a 0% rating is not entitled to disability payments but may qualify for other VA disability benefits, such as medical care for the service-connected conditions if income qualified.
- 30%: A 30% disability rating is assigned when the veteran suffers from “persistent daytime hypersomnolence” due to sleep apnea. A veteran receiving this rating will be entitled to reduced disability pay (in 2023, $508.05/month) and some other benefits such as no-cost medical care and prescriptions for service-connected disabilities.
- 50%: A 50% disability rating is assigned for sleep apnea when the veteran requires the use of a breathing assistance device such as a CPAP machine. With a 50% rating, the veteran will be entitled to partial disability payments (in 2023, $1,041.82/month) and other benefits, including broader healthcare coverage.
- 100%: A 100% disability rating is assigned when the veteran suffers from chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale or requires tracheostomy. With a 100% rating, the veteran will receive full disability payments (in 2023, $3,757.00/month) and other VA disability benefits such as no-cost medical care and prescriptions and healthcare and educational benefits for dependents.
Note, however, that the VA has proposed changes to the sleep apnea rating system. If those changes take effect, they could mean lower disability ratings for veterans being rated after the change.
Get Help with Your VA Disability Benefits Claim
Veterans disability benefits can provide important support for disabled veterans and their dependents. But, securing benefits and a fair disability rating can be a challenge. You will be required to prove that you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, that your sleep apnea is service-connected, and that your symptoms fulfill the requirements for a particular disability rating. An experienced veterans disability advocate can help you put together the strongest application and documentation possible, to increase the likelihood that your benefits will be approved at the maximum disability rating possible.
Veterans Help Group is here for you. To learn more, call 855-855-8992 or click here to fill out our contact form.
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