When considering an application for Social Security disability benefits (or if you’ve started an initial application already), it is not always clearmay not be (or may not have been) apparent what types of issues should be presented to the Social Security Administration (SSA). One of the commonly overlooked problems that seem to impact our disability claimants, whether they are suffering from physical problems or mental health problems, is the issue of one’s sleep.
Issues with one’s sleep can creep on you. It may start off as simply as causing an occasional issue with falling. At first it may not be as pervasive and may only be an occasional day where it becomes a bit more difficult to fall asleep, or it may be an occasional getting up in the middle of the night. However, if such problems are causing an individual to lose sleep on any consistent basis (even a day per week), this can cause one difficulty getting up in the morning to get ready for work (or for that matter, may cause an individual difficulty with staying alert and being able to concentrate on the tasks at hand at a job setting.
There are a number of reasons one may have a sleep disorder, and it’s entirely appropriate (in fact, essential) that these types of issues be placed front and center of one’s application for Social Security disability benefits. One may be suffering from orthopedic problems (whether it be a low back problem that may involve issues including sciatica, or knee or hip problems stemming from arthritis that may or may not have required surgical intervention) or mental health issues (such as anxiety at night, causing one to have racing thoughts which may keep one up at night, or even nightmares resulting from issues involving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that is, PTSD). Likewise, we frequently represent clients who are experiencing problems with their sleep as a result of a sleep disorder such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. All of these conditions can and many times do interrupt an individual’s sleep at night and cause them to feel exhausted in the morning. Likewise, we find that the side effects to certain medications (for example, steroids such as Prednisone) can have an adverse impact on one’s sleep. Continue reading