Helping People With Disabilities Nationwide

Sleep Disorders

by | Mar 29, 2024 | SSD - Social Security Disability |

A restful night’s sleep is paramount to performing well in a competitive work environment. Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults to be fully rested and mentally alert upon waking. Fatigue or daytime drowsiness from poor sleep can lead to excessive absenteeism, loss of productivity, and workplace accidents and injuries. Extreme fatigue may also be a sign of a chronic ailment or sleep disorder. Common sleep disorders include insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome.  Those who suffer from a sleep disorder may be eligible for disability benefits if their ailment cannot be managed effectively. Additionally, poor sleep on its own can be a risk factor for many conditions which may lead to claim of disability, including obesity, depression, and dementia.

To prevail on a disability claim, the claimant must show an inability to maintain work activity due to a diagnosable medical impairment. For the impairment to be diagnosable, mere complaints of fatigue or daytime sleepiness to a primary care provider will often not be enough to warrant a finding of disability without objective medical testing such as polysomnography. A neurologist, pulmonologist, or psychiatrist with specialized training in sleep disorders can provide a diagnosis and treatment with medication and/or a sleeping device such as a CPAP machine. However, failure to follow prescribed treatment can lead to a denial of benefits if it appears that the claimant is ignoring medical providers instructions and cannot show good cause for noncompliance.[1]

In determining whether disability benefits are granted, the Social Security Administration will consider a claimant’s medical records along with their work history. They may also consider statements from friends, family, or employers, and even expert testimony from consultants if necessary. Consulting an attorney or law firm specializing in disability law could greatly increase the chances of approval for disability benefits.

[1] SSR 18-3p.



Injured At Work?

Find out if you can collect Work Comp benefits too