Veterans Disability Info Blog

Veteran Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a respiratory disorder that leads to multiple awakenings at night, negatively impacting the quality of the sufferer’s sleep. If you are experiencing sleep apnea that is related to your qualifying service in the U.S. military, or it has developed due to a condition you have already been diagnosed with, you may be eligible for medical coverage and tax-free disability payments. 

Following is a consideration of how your sleep apnea is diagnosed, what influences your sleep apnea VA rating, and what treatment measures are available to address your symptoms. These treatments will generally be covered by the VA when the following apply:

  • you have a current diagnosis of sleep apnea
  • it is connected to your service or a condition you already have a VA disability rating for
  • you have a sleep apnea VA rating of 0 percent or greater. 

If your sleep apnea claim has been denied, our VA disability law firm can help. There is no risk in calling our law firm to see how we can assist and help ensure your appeal is successful. 

A Sleep Study Measures Your Conditions and Informs Treatment

To receive a sleep apnea VA rating, a sleep study is essential. A sleep study, or polysomnography, is a painless test that measures the quality of your sleep and also how your body responds to sleep problems. It can be difficult to determine whether the cause of an individual’s symptoms is in fact sleep apnea without a sleep study, as it helps your doctor diagnose your disorder. The most common sleep study records your brain waves and monitors your breathing, heart rate, and oxygen levels in your blood as you sleep. The outcome of your sleep study in turn determines what treatment method is most effective in your situation. 

Primary Sleep Apnea Treatments 

When sleep apnea goes untreated, you are not able to get enough quality sleep, which can lead to:

  • Difficulty making decisions 
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble remembering things 
  • Difficulty controlling your behavior 
  • Serious health problems linked to sleep deprivation 

When you do not get enough quality sleep, there can be a negative impact on your work, driving, school, and social functioning. Feeling sleepy during the day impacts your performance and capacity to engage in normal situations and work. The following treatment methods can help improve upon the symptoms and your capacity to live a normal life. 

CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) Machines 

CPAP machine is the general term applied to a variety of machines that are used to treat sleep apnea. CPAP machines deliver air through tubing into a mask that helps to keep your airway open while you sleep. The use of a CPAP machine is known as sleep therapy and is meant to help you get a good night’s sleep to control the symptoms of sleep apnea and its impact on your life. 

Lifestyle Changes 

Sleep apnea can be caused by mechanical issues in your respiratory passage from injuries or due to brain injuries that impact the signals meant to control breathing. While those types of sleep apnea may not be able to be treated without machines or surgery, some instances of sleep apnea are caused by obesity, or the use of alcohol or substances. 

The impact of lifestyle changes on sleep apnea symptoms depends on their cause. While some obesity and weight gain may be caused by a primary disability recognized by the VA, in other instances lifestyle changes that reduce weight can also help to alleviate some of the symptoms of sleep apnea. In some situations, the only solution to alleviate sleep apnea is surgery. 


When the respiratory system is impacted from injuries and other physical issues, corrective surgery may be a viable treatment to address sleep apnea. If you have service-connected sleep apnea as a primary or secondary condition, your healthcare provider can help diagnose your condition, and if your initial claim has been denied or you need to add sleep apnea to another VA disability, your VA disability benefits attorney from our firm can help. 

Your Sleep Apnea VA Rating Determines Coverage and Eligibility 

The sleep apnea VA rating that you are assigned by the VA for your service-connected disability determines if your medical needs are covered by the VA, and if you are eligible for tax-free disability payments. A rating of 0 percent or greater will provide VA-covered medical care, and ratings over 10 percent will entitle you to monthly tax-free VA disability payments. 

The symptoms of your sleep apnea and their impact on your health and ability to work also determine the treatment options that are best suited for your condition, as follows. 

Primary Treatment Options for Veterans with Sleep Apnea 

After you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea through a sleep study, the most appropriate treatment method will be identified with your healthcare provider. If you have a diagnosis, you will receive a minimum sleep apnea VA rating of 0 percent, which will entitle you to VA-covered medical care. As the severity of your condition increases, your eligibility for a CPAP machine or other corrective measures like surgery will be measured. 

Discuss an Appeal with a VA Benefits Lawyer for Sleep Apnea

If you have already submitted a claim to receive a sleep apnea VA rating and have been denied or if you already have a VA-rated disability, a VA disability benefits attorney can help. To learn how we can help and how the situation works, give us a call at 888-878-9350 or visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation. We charge nothing for your initial consultation and will explain how our fees work in full before getting started, answering any and all questions. 

We are Here to Help

If you are having trouble obtaining benefits, contact us online or at 888.878.9350 to discuss your case.