Chronic Insomnia and Social Security Disability

Insomnia is a condition characterized by an inability to sleep. In some cases, people with insomnia have trouble falling sleep at all. In others, they are unable to sleep long enough to get adequate rest. Chronic insomnia is insomnia which lasts more than one month, whether there is an outside cause or the insomnia itself is the primary disorder. Common causes of chronic insomnia are stress, drug use (including some prescription drugs), chronic pain and hormonal imbalances. One common effect of insomnia is the sensation of seeing things in slow motion. Some of the other common effects of insomnia are:

  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Mental fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems

There are a wide variety of treatment options available, depending on the cause of insomnia. Treatment options include medications, psychotherapy, and relaxation techniques. Chronic insomnia is often accompanied by other mental disorders such as ADHD, clinical depression, PTSD, OCD, dementia, and bipolar disorder.

Proving Your Social Security Disability with Chronic Insomnia

The effects of chronic insomnia can affect both your physical and your mental capacity for work. Despite this, the Social Security Administration does not list insomnia as a disabling condition in its own right in the Blue Book. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits with chronic insomnia, you must show that either:

  • You meet the listing requirements under the conditions of the disorder or condition which is causing your insomnia. Many conditions which cause insomnia are listed in the Blue Book. In those cases, the effects of insomnia are a pertinent factor to your disability claim.
  • You meet the listing requirements under the conditions of a disorder which is caused by your insomnia. Common listed conditions which are caused by insomnia and have listings in the Blue Book include mental disorders (covered in Section 12), heart disease (covered in Section 4.02 and 4.04), and digestive problems (covered in Section 5.02, 5.06, and 5.07)
  • The effects of your insomnia are equivalent to a condition which is listed. The most common conditions referenced are mental disorders, covered in Section 12 of the Blue Book, especially organic mental disorders (12.02), depression (12.04), and anxiety (12.06).
  • Your residual functioning capacity (i.e., ability to work or engage in gainful activity) is diminished to such a point by your chronic insomnia and any other disabling conditions which you have that you cannot reasonably be expected to work in any available job which your education, experience, and training qualify you for or for which you could be trained.

Your Chronic Insomnia Social Security Disability Case

Anyone who is claiming Social Security disability benefits can benefit from the services of a Social Security disability attorney. This is especially true for those filing a disability claim based on non-listed conditions such as chronic insomnia. Your Social Security lawyer can help you gather the kind of evidence you need to support the fact that your chronic insomnia makes you incapable of gainful activity.

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