Sleep Apnea

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by cga82, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    I just got back from a workshop with fellow GS employees. One of the individuals there stated to me that he has a 50% Coast Guard service disability from Sleep Apnea. I was told that it equates to about $1000/month tax free not including an additional amount for dependents until they reach 18 yrs of age. I had to ask him how the Coast Guard service caused this disability. His answer was that it was "Anxiety". He also mentioned that he was going to be grandfathered in to keep his 50% +(dependents) since there will be a change in the Sleep Apnea % in 2016(I guess less of an amount since he was very happy).

    I don't know the 2016 changes but this was what I was told.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    This isn't unique to the Coast Guard. I'm not sure how anyone can justify 50% for sleep apnea. But, as long as the VA is granting 50% for that, and as long as service members have to undergo a separation physical, and as long as sleep studies indicate there is in fact a case of sleep apnea…. it's going to continue to give them 50%.
     
  3. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    Certainly not unique! Agreed! I knew 2 others in the room of 10 who have the same claimed disability. They don't just give it to you-you have to request the claim. This would make a great case study of integrity and ethics at the separation physical. Apparently, the VA is very liberal to granting this claim but might tighten up on the claims in 2016.

    I see people who work their whole life with sleep apnea and are lucky if they get a retirement check-most don't.
     
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    We've had some lively discussions about OSA before here.

    Just as a point of clarification one can't simply claim it and be granted. They would have undergone a sleep study to prove it before being granted the disability. Now, if it's something that should be rated 50% is probably the biggest debate.
     
  5. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    I have no clue as to how the procedure is conducted and have no doubt that they have sleep apnea (they being very proud of their 50%). I found it interesting that one stated he was grandfathered in and the 2016 candidates will not see the same level or a less % granted. Another guy stated that they(the VA) just gave it to me. I feel for people who have this disorder-brother/cousin/father-in law and brother in law-I would hate to have to wear that mask to go to sleep.
     
  6. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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  7. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    So that article claims there has been a doubling in claims within the military. Okay, so I looked, according to the article below there has been a 12-fold increase in the general population.

    I get it, sleep apnea seems easy to pick on as it is basically a "silent" disability to those looking at the person. They see no outward effects and yes people can even still pass flight physicals with the diagnosis. But let's be honest here, no one gets the VA disability without a formal sleep study, it's not something you just get to mark down and nobody checks and all the sudden you get a 50% disability check.

    So, in my opinion let's stop blaming the people who have a disease and let's start looking at the system. Until the rules are changed they are what they are. Want to look at the percentage rating, go ahead, it may need to change. Want to look at how people are diagnosed, sure go ahead, those are all absolutely appropriate.

    If we are worried about disease that "would have happened anyway" well then we better start looking at everyone who has hypertension, anyone who has hearing loss equal to the standard norm and not what it was at age 18, anyone who had a heart attack, almost all cancers unrelated to agent orange or other chemical exposure, many back pain cases, and on and on.

    I am definitely not a fan of the OSA and VA issues; however, it's not fair to blame an individual for getting what is theirs by the rules. Change the rules and we can go from there.
     
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  8. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    I agree but there has to be some INTEGRITY on an individuals part.-just because it's allowed doesn't make it right. I've known one person who said I'm not taking that the xxx did not cause that and they have given me free equipment to help with the condition.

    And the system is broke-if indeed- what the article says is true. There needs to be an awareness of how much money is being spent. Most people on this forum want their tax dollars spent wisely. I had no idea that 1.2 billion per year was being spent. That seems like a big number to me(i think the CG budget is less than 10 billion) . If there is no awareness of the problem then how do you fix it?

    So, both the system and the individual should measure up and do the right thing-that is my opinion -i would hope that many others here would be of the same mindset. Although, i have my doubts!
     
  9. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    So how do you propose we definitively prove someone who has a formal diagnosis of OSA (or any for that matter) was or was not instigated or worsened by their military service?

    It's nearly impossible to show that, in fact if you compare the data from my article above it would suggest the rate of OSA diagnosis in the military is actually less than the general population. That would potentially suggest either the military is a protective factor or those who come in the military are less likely to develop it. Well if that's the case then those who do develop OSA in the military would have an even better argument that something in their particular service career made it happen (it would be twisted logic, but plausible)

    I think we are barking up the wrong tree. What needs to be looked at is if OSA should rate a 50% disability.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    kp2001 is making a lot of sense here. As annoying as cga82's sleep apnea musings have become, this thread has some great information and has really added to the discussion. I'm enjoying the point-counter point approach.

    I tend to agree with cga82 that its an issue, and with kp2001 that the issue isn't with the folks who qualify (of any service) but with the system. Should it be 50% disability? I doubt it. Is that the sleep apnea sufferer's fault. I don't think so.
     
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  11. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I didn't realize how many people claimed OSA until I became an Army civilian. I'm the only male in my office that doesn't have a disability rating for OSA! I'm also the only male under 40. I don't think they are trying to milk the system, they all say they hate wearing the mask at night and wish it wasn't an issue.
     
  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I am not a doctor, but you are. So can working enviornment cause OSA?

    Not being a doctor, I can conceptualize how being around loud noises (i.e machinary, cannon fire) cause hearing lost, too much marching with heaving load causing bad knees, and etc.
     
  13. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I don't know, I can try to find some research, but I have a feeling it hasn't been done.

    And that's one of the tough things about this particular disease and some others. Some as you mention above are easy to see correlations; whereas, others are more subtle or even very difficult to see at first glance. Similar situations happen frequently with leg amputatees and disabled parking a la a recent TV report about a female getting harassed about parking in a handicap spot when they had pants on and walked well.

    Things we can see or have easy to see correlation are given more "credit" than those we can't. It's a natural bias and I catch myself doing it all the time...."your 90yrs old, your eyes have always been misaligned, why surgery now?" I can see the misalignment and the age, what I can't see is the social or psychological impact it has had on that particular person.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Sometimes answers create more question. I am not expecting you to answer, but I am assuming military disability compensation to be focused on disability caused by military service, not any all disability.

    This assumption is creating frustration among certain folks about sleepe apena. There is no condition that is not clearly connected to be caused by miltiary service, but since we can't disapprove it wasn't folks with sleep apena should get diability because the regulation allows.
     
  15. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    Here's another article. Interesting that the increase may be from the Afghan/Iraq wars? But I've seen a great number whom have never set foot in either country.


    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCsQFjAC&url=http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/21/veterans-administration-sleep-apnea/9291425/&ei=ma4-VeSVJIS2sAWDxIH4DA&usg=AFQjCNF6_iqK47gK3dIl4e2GCRmRhm-vTQ&sig2=12J05PzBPCxGKX4wSyU-Cw

    If this is true then this is quite bothersome-"By comparison, a soldier or Marine who loses a leg below the knee while serving, and receives prosthesis can be attached, they are considered 40% disabled, which qualifies them for a $577.54 monthly payment. All amputees also receive an additional $101 a month, according to the VA."
     

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