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Is Chronic Insomnia A Disability

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Is Insomnia A Va Disability Condition

Insomnia VA Disability Ratings and Secondary Conditions

Yes, Insomnia is a VA disability and can be rated from 0% to 100% depending upon the severity of your symptoms. Often times, Insomnia is an underlying symptoms of another mental health condition such as PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, or Somatic Symptom Disorder. Due to the legal concept called avoidance of pyramiding, a veteran will only receive one VA rating for a mental health condition. The VA recognizes Insomnia Disorders as one of 31 mental health conditions that may be related to service, and thus, Insomnia is a VA disability, and is eligible for VA compensation and benefits under the law.

Documenting Your Sleep Problems

You should tell your doctor about all of your symptoms, especially if they impact your sleep. You may or may not be prescribed medication to help you sleep. Its important that you get information about your sleep condition into your doctors office notes. This will help document your sleep problems for the LTD insurance company.

You may also keep a disability journal, or sleep journal, to record any issues you have. Write down the time that you lay down at night, your nightly routine, any medications you take, and how long it takes you to fall asleep. You should write in your journal right before you go to bed and immediately when you wake up in the morning. In the morning, you should record how you feel and whether you were able to sleep well.

You may also be referred to a sleep study where you will be observed overnight while you sleep. During the sleep study, try to adhere to your normal routine and document everything that happens.

File A Disability Insurance Claim

Many individuals believe that they can file a claim on their own. Unfortunately, that often results in a swift denial from the provider. Fatal claimant claim mistakes are often uncorrectable so be very careful. Denials may happen because you filed your claim too late or failed to provide sufficient evidence of why you were covered or you failed to provide restrictions and limitations showing why mentally and physically you are unable to do your occupation. With a knowledgeable disability attorney at your side, you do not have to worry about these small but often costly mistakes.

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But Why Should I Tell My Boss That I Have Insomnia

There are many reasons. However, when it comes to illustrating the impact of disrupted sleep on your ability to work effectively and efficiently letâs use an example comparing a lack of sleep with the consumption of alcohol.

If youâre someone who usually sleeps for eight hours a night then every two hours lost can have a severe impact on your performance the following day. Losing two hours of sleep per night can be equivalent to consuming two 500ml beers.

Losing two hours = drinking two beers

Losing four hours = drinking four beers

Losing six hours = drinking five beers

Losing eight hours = drinking seven beers1

Turning up to work under the influence of alcohol would be a disciplinary offence in most workplaces. Yet people often turn up to work sleepy even though the impairment of their performance is equivalent to drinking the night before. You wouldnât turn up to work drunk and you shouldnât start work tired.

Is Sleep Apnea A Disability

 Is Insomnia A Va Claim

Sleep apnea is not considered a disability by the social security administration. The SSA does have listings for breathing disorders, mental deficits, and heart diseases. If you qualify or meet the criteria for any one of the categories, you will automatically be eligible for disability benefits.

Sleep apnea is a very concerning problem in which the person cannot sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea typically happens due to obesity. Sleep apnea is associated with the soft tissues of the mouth and the throat.

When a person is sleeping, the throat and tongue tissues can block the airway, and a blocked airway can lead to rapid breathing during sleep apnea. The breathing should repeatedly stop and start.

A person can suffer from sleep apnea due to physical and mental issues. If you snore too loudly and still feel tired throughout the day, you will likely suffer from sleep apnea. Mental stress and anxiety can also be significant contributors to the severity of sleep apnea in people.

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Medically Qualifying For Benefits With The Blue Book

When the SSA receives an application for disability benefits, it uses the Blue Book to determine if the individual meets the SSA’s medical requirements. The Blue Book is the SSA’s official list of disabling conditions that qualify for benefits, and if an applicant meets or equals a listing, he or she will be approved for benefits.

There is no specific listing for insomnia, but there are a number of conditions that are caused by insomnia included in the Blue Book:

If your insomnia is making it impossible for you to work, talk to your doctor about applying for Social Security for disability benefits.

How To Win Disability Benefits For Sleep Disorders

1. Be aware that insurers may argue that sleep issues are caused by a mental disorder.

Insurance companies do this because it is much harder to win a claim for mental disorders compared to other medical conditions. Also, many insurance policies limit benefits for mental illness claims to only two years because psychological disorders as considered to be treatable within that timespan. Furthermore, you might be required to undergo regular treatments and provide progress reports about your mental illness to continue receiving your benefits.

2. It is critical to include all your other disabling conditions as part of your claim.

You can strengthen your claim by including other conditions you might have that are contributing to your disability. This is important even though you may feel that your sleep disorder is the primary issue. Disabling conditions that are often diagnosed in conjunction with sleep disorders include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Osteoarthritis

3. Proper diagnosis and testing by a sleep specialist are critical.

4. You must demonstrate that you have followed all treatment recommendations and show that they have not been successful.

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Aggravated Service Connection For Insomnia

You are also eligible to file a disability claim for insomnia if you already had it before you joined the military. To qualify for this type of claim, you will need to prove that the condition was aggravated, or made worse, by your time in military service. The VA regards the inability to sleep worsening after enrollment in active duty as service connection by aggravation.

This must be differentiated from the natural progress of a condition. If you are injured playing sports before joining the military and your doctor specifies that your injury will naturally worsen over time, the aggravation may not be caused by the service but by the general passage of time. One way to figure out whether or not insomnia is aggravated by service or service-connected in the first place is through a VA-ordered C& P exam.

Is Insomnia A Va Disability

Disability Rating for Insomnia

Yes, Insomnia is a VA disability and can be rated at 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100% depending upon the Frequency, Severity, and Duration of your symptoms as well as how those symptoms affect your Occupational and Social Impairment meaning your work, life, and social functioning.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder most often rated analogously under CFR Title 38, Part 4, Schedule for Rating Disabilities, Diagnostic Codes for Mental Disorders.

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S To Securing Private Or Group Disability Insurance Benefits

Once you and your lawyer have determined that you qualify under your policys disability definition, then you begin the paperwork. This is often time consuming and complicated. Your insurance provider wants to deny your claim. The sole goal of insurance companies is to retain as much of your premium paid as possible. Accepting your disability application without a fight would severely cut into the disability insurance companys profits.

Working with a skilled disability insurance lawyer is your best chance for overcoming this challenge. Together with your long-term disability legal representative, you can build and submit a solid claim for your disability benefits.

Various Causes Of Insomnia

The inability to sleep is commonly attributed to depression, anxiety and psychotic disorders. Hormonal imbalances, drug or substance abuse can also play a role.

Many people develop insomnia secondary to chronic pain or other sources of severe pain, sickness or discomfort.

Insomnia may also be due to a physical condition, such as a blockage of airflow affecting a persons breathing during sleep.

Certain cases of insomnia may last only a few weeks. Chronic insomnia lasts much longer or indefinitely. Treatment for the condition may involve medications that induce sleep or act as sedatives. These medications can create disruptive conditions of their own, adding to a patients problems.

Depending on the case, your doctor may prescribe CPAP therapy or other breathing treatment for sleep apnea. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be ordered to identify possible hidden causes of chronic sleep problems.

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Opening Up At Work About Sleep

If you feel that youâd like to open up to someone at work then you might need to find a person who will be sympathetic to your concerns. Should you tell your boss that you have insomnia? Ideally, yes.

But if you donât feel that conversation would go well then it might be better to talk to someone in HR or occupational health. Itâs likely theyâll have had many similar conversations and have an effective policy in place.

What Is Chronic Insomnia

VA Disability Benefits

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.

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Supporting Evidence For Sleep Disorder Claims

A former servicemember would need to show that they have a current diagnosis of a sleeping disorder, whether sleep apnea, insomnia, or some other sleep disturbance diagnosis, in order to qualify for disability benefits. They should include medical records and doctors notes with any sleep disorder claims to establish the severity of their condition.

It is also necessary to prove entitlement to service connection, which means establishing a relationship between a veterans sleep disorder and his or her active duty service. Service records from an applicants time on active duty may indicate an incident which caused or contributed to their disorder or any documented symptoms of sleep irregularity.

Lay statements from a veteran, spouse, or anyone else who can attest to nighttime symptoms which began on active duty can be very helpful in proving entitlement to service connection for sleep disorder claims. It is better for veterans to be over-prepared when it comes to gathering evidence, which can be made easier with the advice of an attorney from our firm.

Is Insomnia A Disability

No, insomnia alone is not a disability in the eyes of SSA. Instead, it can be classified as a condition. In this condition, the person suffering from it cannot sleep properly.

Insomnia is a challenging condition to deal with. Your whole body feels weak and exhausted when you cannot sleep properly. According to the Social Security Administration, you can qualify for a disability grant if you have insomnia or other physical or mental condition. a complicated ailment

If you have chronic insomnia and have severe side effects, such as heart issues, depression, anxiety, etc., it can help your case get a disability grant. For example:

  • Heart Diseases: You can claim benefits under listing 4.02/04 if you develop Heart disease due to insomnia.
  • Organic Mental Disorders: Listing 12.02 deals with Organic mental disorders, including mood changes, low concentration, and memory loss. If you develop these disorders due to insomnia, you can claim benefits.
  • Depression: You can consider listing 12.04 if you suffer from depression resulting from insomnia. You can claim for anxiety under listing 12.06
  • Digestive Disorders: If you have insomnia, you can consider listing 5.02/06/07, which deals with Digestive system problems caused by chronic gastrointestinal symptoms.

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Can You Get A Disability For Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Idiopathic hypersomnia is a condition or a sleep disorder identifiable when the patient has excessive sleepiness. People who suffer from this condition find it very hard to stay awake. Such individuals find it very hard to focus on work, and they also have lower performance levels than other employees.

Usually, these people cannot stay awake for more than a couple of hours. If you are applying for a claim for idiopathic hypersomnia, you need to make sure that you are submitting all medical evidence. Results of necessary tests include CT scans, polysomnography tests, and EEG tests. However, doing all this still doesnt guarantee your application to be selected.

Va Disability Ratings For Other Sleep Disturbances

Cognitive Behavioural Insomnia Therapy in those with Chronic Pain

Keep in mind that insomnia isnt the only sleep disorder that can qualify you for VA benefits. The VA also offers benefits for sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea and hypersomnolence, which can include narcolepsy and insufficient sleep syndrome. These types of sleep disturbances may be secondary to other service-connected conditions like PTSD. As with insomnia, its important to obtain a medical diagnosis and sufficient evidence of service connection when building your claim.

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Va Disability Compensation For Insomnia

Insomnia disability benefits depend on the VAs veterans disability compensation chart. The 2021 VA compensation rates fluctuate depending on rating and dependents. For a 10% VA disability rating, a veteran will receive $144.14 a month. For a veteran with no dependents and a 100% disability rating, the benefits are roughly $3,146.42 a month.

Insomnia can be rated at any percentage between 0-100% which means its very important to include the full range of symptoms youre experiencing and be as honest as possible about the negative effects it has had on your quality of life.

Why Might My Claim Be Denied

Your claim for disability benefits could be denied at the outset of the claim, or at some point during the claim. Your insurer might find that while you are unable to perform the duties of your own job, you can perform the duties of another job.

For example, if you worked in a factory, where physical safety of yourself and others is a concern, your insurer might agree that you cant return to this position, but may say you can work in a sedentary position like at a call centre or somewhere where safety is not an issue and a moderate amount of concentration is not required.

Other commons reason insurers deny claims is due to lack of medical evidence to support ongoing limitations and restrictions, that you are not under the care of an appropriate specialist and are not following the standard recommended treatment plan.

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Qualifying For Disability For Sleep Apnea

The Social Security Administration no longer has a disability listing for sleep apnea, but it does have listings for breathing disorders, heart problems, and mental deficits. If you meet the criteria of one of the listings due to your sleep apnea, you would automatically qualify for disability benefits. Some ways to meet the listings for complications caused by sleep apnea are having severe cognitive deficits, mood disturbances, and/or behavioral issues chronic pulmonary hypertension or chronic heart failure/cor pulmonale .

Listing 3.09 states that chronic pulmonary hypertension can qualify automatically for disability benefits if mean pulmonary artery pressure is equal to or greater than 40 mm Hg . Listing 4.02 has lengthy criteria for when chronic heart failure will qualify for disability, and finally, listing 12.02, which covers organic mental disorders, discusses the criteria needed to qualify for disability based on mental issues like intellectual difficulties, memory problems, depression, and/or anxiety. To qualify for benefits under this listing, you must be able to show that you have either:

The majority of people with sleep apnea will not qualify under one of the listings discussed above, but there is another way to qualify for disability.

Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Insomnia Or A Sleep Disorders

 Va Disability Chronic Insomnia

Disability insurance companies dont always make it easy for policyholders who have insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy or restless legs syndrome to get the disability benefits they deserve.

How Disability Carriers View Claims for Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy or Restless Legs Syndrome

Disability carriers often argue that in your policy, coverage is excluded under the pre-existing condition clause, or that benefits are limited under the subjective limitation and/or mental/nervous clauses.

It is not uncommon for policyholders to have had insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy or restless legs syndrome for years and not been disabled. You will have to overcome the carriers argument that you have been working with these problems for years and nothing has changed. It is crucial that your medical records develop the progression of your symptoms.

Carriers also say that if you took the right medication your insomnia would just go away and you could work.

Worse, carriers argue that your insomnia is a mental disability, not a physical one.

As a result, many disability claims for insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy or restless legs syndrome are denied. And carriers have other reasons to deny claims. The disability insurance company will say:

There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician, or

Sleep Apnea


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