Unless you've faced the challenge of living with a sleep-related breathing disorder, it is nearly impossible to understand how such a condition can affect your ability to lead a normal and healthy life. Unable to get good night's sleep, your body is not capable of repairing itself, and your mind is not able to work through thought processes clearly. After a while, the disorder can lead to a serious impact on one's quality of life and an inability to maintain full-time work activity. If you are unable to maintain employment due to a sleep-related breathing disorder, the following information will help you understand how you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits and how to increase your chances of obtaining benefits from the Social Security Administration.
Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders Condition and Symptoms
Sleep-related breathing disorders, often referred to as sleep apnea, are the result of a periodic interruption of respiration during sleep. These episodes are usually associated with hypoxemia and frequent sleep interruptions. Depending on the severity of the condition, this disturbed sleeping pattern can result in daytime fatigue and can cause memory loss, difficulties with orientation and personality disorders.
The symptoms that are related to a sleep-related breathing disorder will be impacted by the severity of the condition and how long the individual has suffered from it. In mild cases, there may be few symptoms or no symptoms at all. In severe cases an individual may not be able to function in day-to-day life. In these cases, it can be impossible to maintain full-time employment.
If an individual is unable to work due to a sleep-related breathing disorder, they may be able to qualify for SSDI or SSI from the Social Security Administration. The following information will help you understand how the SSA reviews disability claims based on sleep-related breathing disorders and how you can increase your chances of obtaining an approval of your Social Security Disability claim.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders
Sleep-related breathing disorders are listed in the SSA's disability guidelines under Medical Listing 3.10. In order to qualify for SSD benefits under this medical listing, you will need to have medical evidence clearly showing that your disorder has resulted in chronic cor pulmonale disorder or that it is causing an organic mental disorder.
Proving that a sleep-related breathing disorder is resulting in a complete and total disability can be tricky, so it will be very important that your doctor keep very accurate and detailed records regarding your disorder. You should also document the effects of your disorder, keeping a sleep log and accurately responding to the questions on the residual functional capacity form included in the disability application paperwork.
In many cases, an individual who is filing a Social Security Disability claim based on a sleep-related breathing disorder will be denied benefits during the initial stage of the application process. However, this does not mean that you will not be able to obtain the disability benefits you need. Nearly 70 percent of disability applicants must pursue the disability appeal process before being awarded the Social Security Disability benefits they are entitled to. When filing a disability claim due to a sleep-related breathing disorder, it is likely that you will be among the applicants who must file such an appeal.
Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders and Your Social Security Disability Case
The Social Security Administration only approves approximately 30 percent of the initial disability applications received each year. Because it can be difficult to prove that a sleep-related breathing disorder has resulted in an inability to perform any type of gainful work activity, it is likely that your application will be among the 70 percent that are denied at this stage of the application process. You will likely need to obtain a hearing before an administrative law judge, who will have the power to grant you the benefits you need.
When filing a disability appeal and appearing before an administrative law judge, it is in your best interest to obtain the services of a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate. These individuals will work with you to gather the medical evidence needed to prove the severity of your condition and how it affects your ability to function in day-to-day life. Your advocate or attorney may also call in expert witnesses, such as medical professionals and vocational experts. The good news is that nearly two-thirds of disability hearings are decided in the favor of the disability applicant and your chances of being awarded Social Security Disability benefits are significantly increased with proper legal representation.
To learn more about filing for disability benefits due to a diagnosis of a sleep-related breathing disorder or to learn more about working with a Social Security Disability lawyer, fill out the form for a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.