Post-1 year separation

stanggolfer

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While I was AD I had a few sleep studies, but didn’t have full-blown sleep apnea to where I needed a cpap. I had lung cancer (non-smoker) and asthma as well. When I got my VA rating it included 30% for lung cancer/asthma, with additional disabilities 80% total. Sleep apnea was not rated or counted as service-connected. I’m guessing since I didn’t have a official diagnosis. I’ve been going to the VA clinic regularly and my pcm recommended another sleep study. By the time I got through all of the appointments/sleep study a year has passed since separating. I’m now diagnosed with sleep apnea and need cpap.
Question is, what would be the next best step to take now that I’ve busted the year mark and can no longer do NoD? Do I just open a new claim, re-open the original, etc? Im guessing one thing I’ll need is for the doc to complete Nexus letter. Any other advice/recommendations are greatly appreciated.
 

RaiderX

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File a new Claim would be my suggestion. It the same thing I did for my IBS, PTSD and Migraines.
 

oddpedestrian

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You would have to file a supplemental claim with new and relevant evidence based on your statements that wouldn't be too hard outside of getting the Nexus, I recommend working with a VSO from your county DAV, American Legion, or VFW.
 

Dodger70

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You should check with a VSO because there is way if you are diagnosed within 1 year of leaving the military use can use the nexus because there is a presumption of service connection. There are specific rules on this but I have known a couple of people who have done this after they left the Army. Both of them had symptoms of the condition noted in their medical records one I know was able to get Sleep apnea since it was documented that he was having sleep issues and the doctors recommended a sleep study that he was not able to get before his ETS. He went to a civilian provider less than 2 months later who ordered a sleep study that showed he had sleep apnea the VA gave him the rating citing the 1 year rule. In your case you may be able to show that you were exhibiting sleep apnea like symptoms. I would say you would have nothing to lose by trying to file a claim
 

oddpedestrian

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@Dodger70

It's too late for all that the claim was filed but denied so to re-open he would have to file a supplemental claim with new and relevant evidence this isn't a NEW claim but a previously DENIED claim that has been over a year old meaning the effective date is lost as well as the presumptive.
 

chaplaincharlie

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A new claim can be filed online through E-Benefits. I would submit whatever medical records you can from the prior studies. It demonstrates the doc had concerns about your sleep status at the time. If your ENT believes their is nexus to an earlier disease, you might want to ask him/her to write a letter explaining the nexus. I've attached to links that may provide you better SA on your situation.

Mike

 
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