Narcolepsy and Social Security Disability

Narcolepsy is a nervous system disorder that causes an individual to have intense sudden urges to take naps during the day, having what are often referred to as “sleep attacks”. There is no known cause or cure for narcolepsy, but some evidence has suggested that it may be a hereditary disorder. The symptoms of narcolepsy often include:

  • Excessive sleepiness throughout the day
  • Sudden and strong urges to take naps
  • Sleep paralysis, which is the inability to move just before and after sleeping
  • Cataplexy, or the sudden loss of muscle strength that can cause you to collapse
  • Hallucinations

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits for Narcolepsy

Maintaining employment can be impossible if you cannot stay awake for long periods of time. In some cases, the fatigue and loss of muscle control associated with Narcolepsy even make attempting to work dangerous. If narcolepsy limits your ability to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Narcolepsy is not specifically listed in the Social Security blue book, but your symptoms may meet the requirements of another disabling condition.

Meeting the Qualifications

When a medical condition is not listed in the blue book, it is still possible to qualify for disability benefits. The blue book listing that has the most in common with narcolepsy is non-convulsive epilepsy.

To qualify under this listing, you need to prove that the following statements are true:

  • You suffer from at least one narcoleptic episode per week.
  • You have undergone at least three months of treatment for narcolepsy, but you still continue to experience symptoms that significantly affect your daily activities.

Even if you do not satisfy the non-convulsive epilepsy requirements, it may still be possible to receive approval for SSD if you can provide evidence that your narcolepsy is limiting your residual functional capacity. This means that your impairment restricts your ability to function in a way that would allow you to work at any type of job.

Medical Evidence Needed When Applying for SSD with Narcolepsy

In order to receive approval for Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to provide ample documentation demonstrating the severity and longevity of your symptoms. Your medical evidence may include:

  • Medical records detailing past treatments and medications, as well as the results of those treatments
  • Letters from your doctors detailing your symptoms, limitations, and treatment history
  • Any results from tests including EEGs, ECGs, sleep studies, or other applicable test results
  • Any further documentation or statements that pertain to how your narcolepsy limits your ability to function

Hiring an Attorney to Represent Your Social Security Disability Case

Narcolepsy is a very strange and unique medical impairment, and it is not always easy to explain how the symptoms affect your day-to-day life. With this condition, it is important to be extremely thorough and detail-oriented throughout the application process.

You can improve your likelihood of success by enlisting the assistance of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. These professionals know the information that is essential to your application in order to receive approval.