A vet treated for mild sleep apnea with a CPAP machine automatically is assigned a disability rating of 50 percent, according to VA regulations. However, a number of interested parties are trying to get the disability rating for sleep apnea altered due to a surge in the number of vets receiving CPAP treatment for sleep apnea in recent years.
In 2001, the VA diagnosed and rated 983 veterans as disabled due to sleep apnea. This is a drastic difference from the 25,000 vets rated and diagnosed in 2012, as mentioned in a 2013 Military.com article by Tom Philpott.
Some members of the VA Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation had a number of recommendations for the VA to address this dramatic increase in vets with sleep apnea. The board is not convinced that the actual level of disability caused by sleep apnea correlates to the amount of compensation and the disability rating received by these vets, according to Military.com. It stated there is no connection that would indicate sleep apnea is caused by service, especially since the most common cause of sleep apnea is being overweight.
Even if the guidelines do change for rating level of disability for veterans with sleep apnea, those who are currently receiving benefits from the VA can continue to do so, according to a Stars and Stripes article by Tim Philpott.