Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can cause chronic exhaustion. An estimated 22 million people throughout the nation are living with moderate to severe sleep apnea. For some, their sleep apnea is so severe that they cannot hold a steady job.
In some situations, a person suffering from sleep apnea may be able to recover Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, so how can you secure them? At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we know which laws apply to sleep apnea and SSDI. Our personal injury attorneys can help you determine which benefits you qualify for.
If you or a loved one suffers from moderate to severe sleep apnea, you may qualify for SSDI. Our law firm gladly offers all potential clients a free case evaluation. We can schedule an appointment at a time and location convenient to you. Complete our online form or call us 24/7 at 1-866-909-6894 to get started on your case.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where your breathing pauses during sleep. This breathing interruption can happen dozens or even hundreds of times while a person sleeps. Some episodes last for several seconds, or a minute or more in some extreme situations.
There are two main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when throat muscles relax and block airflow to the lungs
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send signals to the muscles that control breathing
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
When you are affected by sleep apnea, your brain and the rest of your body are not getting sufficient oxygen. While this disorder can affect anyone, men and people who are overweight have a higher chance of developing sleep apnea.
A person suffering from sleep apnea may be unaware that he or she has stopped breathing while asleep. Some people go for many years without knowing that they have sleep apnea. However, being aware of the symptoms of sleep apnea can alert you to the condition.
Symptoms may include:
- Excessive drowsiness during the day
- Waking up with a dry throat
- Waking frequently during the night
- Difficulty concentrating while awake
- Loud snoring
- Changes in mood or behavior
How Sleep Apnea Is Diagnosed
It is recommended to speak to your healthcare provider if you suspect you have sleep apnea. Your doctor will likely refer you to a sleep disorder center where a specialist can help you determine your need to be further evaluated.
The following tests may be conducted to determine whether you have a sleeping disorder:
- Polysomnogram: This test monitors your breathing patterns, heart, lung, blood oxygen levels, and brain activity while you sleep
- Home sleep test: This simplified test measures your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, airflow, and breathing patterns while you sleep
Your doctor will review the data from the sleep study and then meet to talk with you about the findings and next steps.
Sleep Apnea Can Cause Severe Health Issues
Sleep apnea is a severe medical condition that can have long-term consequences on a person’s health if left untreated.
The following are some of the many health complications that sleep apnea has been linked to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type-2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Memory loss
Is Sleep Apnea Considered a Disability?
The Social Security Administration no longer lists sleep apnea as a disability. However, that does not automatically mean that you will not qualify for SSD benefits. Sleep apnea causes a variety of health issues that are recognized as disabilities.
Medical conditions considered to be disabilities caused by sleep apnea include:
- Chronic pulmonary hypertension
- Congestive heart failure
- Organic mental disorders
If your sleep apnea has been linked to one of the conditions listed, contact Judd Shaw Injury Law today. Our personal injury attorneys can help you gather the medical documents and other evidence that will be needed when filing an SSDI claim.
What If Sleep Apnea Affects Your Ability to Work?
Sleep apnea can have a negative impact on your quality of life and affect your ability to work. If your condition is affecting your job performance, the SSA may look at your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).
An RFC is an assessment to determine what type of work your health condition enables you to perform. For example, if your sleep apnea is causing heart issues, you will not be cleared to lift heavy objects. If lack of sleep causes you to doze off during the day, you should not operate a vehicle or heavy machinery.
The SSA may also conduct a mental RFC assessment. Lack of sleep can affect your concentration, thinking ability, memory, and behavior. If these symptoms are severe enough that you are unable to work, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Benefits You Could Qualify to Receive
If your health issues associated with your sleep apnea prevent you from working, you could qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to receive SSD, you must be able to provide medical proof that your disability is expected to last longer than a year and will prevent you from earning a living.
A personal injury lawyer from our law firm would be glad to review your case to see what benefits you may be eligible to receive.
Benefits you may receive from SSD include:
- Monthly payments
- Medicare coverage
- Family benefits
- Tax benefits
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
Since the social security administration does not consider sleep apnea to be a disability, you will need to provide evidence proving your condition is disabling. At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we know how difficult it can be to receive social security benefits for your sleep apnea. If you need help filing an initial claim or appealing a denial, our law firm wants to help.
If our Social Security Disability lawyers determine that you have a valid claim to compensation, they will begin gathering evidence to prove your disability. We may also connect you with outside experts that can perform additional evaluations to support your claim. For example, a vocational expert can evaluate how your sleep apnea specifically affects your ability to properly perform your job.
Contact Us to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we understand that suffering from sleep apnea can leave victims physically and emotionally exhausted. Our legal team wants to alleviate the stress of filing a claim so that you can focus on your health.
As a victim of sleep apnea, you may be entitled to receive SSDI benefits and we want to make sure you get them. Our law firm cares about our clients and works diligently to help them get the compensation they deserve. Whether you are thinking about filing a claim or have filed and received a denial, you can contact our personal injury lawyers through any stage of the claims process.
We take all sleep apnea and SSI on contingency, which means you do not pay us anything unless your claim is successful. Call us at 866-909-6894 to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you.