Chronic insomnia can have a debilitating effect on an individual. It may make you tired and irritable and can affect your ability to concentrate.
Although these side effects may affect your ability to work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is not likely to grant disability benefits to those who suffer from chronic insomnia alone.
However, when it is combined with other mental or physical ailments, an award of SSD benefits may be appropriate.
Our social security disability attorneys can guide you through the requirements for obtaining disability and help you gather the necessary evidence for a strong claim.
What is Chronic Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that occurs when individuals have trouble either falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that many people experience temporarily, however, it can be considered chronic if you experience these problems at least three times per week for at least one month, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Generally, there are two types of insomnia:
- Primary insomnia occurs as a standalone health condition.
- Secondary insomnia is caused by another health problem, such as mental health issues, chronic pain or difficulty breathing.
Obtaining Disability Through a Medical Listing
When determining if you qualify for disability benefits, the SSA will look to its Blue Book of impairment listings to determine if you meet certain medical requirements.
The Blue Book is a complete listing of disabling conditions that qualify for benefits. If you meet the requirements of a listing, you should be approved for benefits.
Unfortunately, insomnia is not a listed condition. However, because lack of sleep can cause a number of serious health issues, you may be able to obtain SSD benefits by showing your chronic insomnia is causing other conditions or is secondary to another health condition.
Some conditions included in the Blue Book that are often associated with insomnia include:
- Mental health disorders such as depression (listing 12.04) and anxiety (listing 12.06)
- Chronic heart failure (listing 4.02)
- Digestive system problems such as chronic gastrointestinal hemorrhaging (listing 5.02)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (listing 5.06)
Qualifying for SSD Without a Listing
If your condition does not meet the requirements of a listing, it can be harder to be approved for SSD. Nonetheless, you may still be able to get benefits.
The SSA approves some applicants based on a medical-vocational allowance. This means, the SSA will evaluate your medical condition to determine how it affects your life.
Your condition must have lasted at least a year, and you must be able to show that you cannot maintain substantial gainful activity, which the SSA considers to be earning $1,170 or more.
To obtain this type of allowance, your doctor must fill out a long, detailed form about your physical and mental health limitations. This form, along with your work history, experience and education, is used to determine your residual functioning capacity (RFC).
Based on the results of your RFC, the SSA will determine if you are able to return to the type of work you did previously or if you can do any other type of work.
If your condition prevents you from doing any type of work, you will be approved for disability benefits.
Get Help with Your SSD Application
While it may be difficult to obtain benefits for insomnia, it is certainly possible. Having a disability attorney on your side to help with this process can be an invaluable resource.
We will gather the necessary evidence to support your claim and guide you through the application, and appeals process if needed.
Contact our team today to find out how we can help through a free, no obligation consultation. We do not get paid unless you recover the benefits you need.