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How is sleep apnea rated for VA disability purposes?

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

If you have sleep apnea but haven’t yet received a diagnosis or disability benefits from the VA, this is a great place to start. This common medical condition – especially among veterans – can be treated in a variety of different ways, all of which a thorough VA disability claim can get you access to. Keep reading to learn more about sleep apnea and how the VA rates it for disability purposes.


What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder affecting around 18 million U.S. citizens. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition is clinically defined as a potentially serious sleep disorder, where an individual’s breathing continuously starts and stops.


Sleep apnea occurs in three different categories:


The VA is no stranger to diagnosing sleep apnea in Veterans – and that’s because it’s a very common condition among those who have served. Veterans are at a much higher risk of developing this condition due to the medical connection between PTSD and sleep apnea. In one study alone, researchers found that more than half of Veteran participants screened positive for symptoms of sleep apnea.


Category VA rating and regulations for sleep apnea


The 38 CFR is the VA’s section for rating disabilities. While it looks quite confusing at first glance, we can assure you – it’s easy to read once you get the hang of it. Allow us to explain in the context of sleep apnea rating and regulations…


Under respiratory conditions, you’ll find sleep apnea listed at VA rating code 6847. So, how much of a rating percentage can you get for this specific condition? It depends on the severity of your symptoms. For sleep apnea, the following percentages apply:


  • 100% - Chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale, or; requires tracheostomy

  • 50% - Requires use of breathing assistance device such as continuous airway pressure (CPAP) machine

  • 30% - Persistent daytime hypersomnolence

  • 0% - Asymptomatic but with documented sleep disorder breathing


Get disability benefits for sleep apnea ASAP


With the right tests and documentation, you can get the support you need. That’s where we come in. Become your own claims expert by checking out our free, 60-minute educational webinar focused on how to simplify your VA disability claims. For more in-depth learning, sign up for our course "Master Service Connection: A Course To Maximize Your VA Disability Rating FAST!".


To connect with one of our medical experts who can write a Nexus Letter for your claim, review our services page here or sign up for an expert chart review here. We look forward to serving you.



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