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Disability Insurance Claim for Insomnia or Other Sleep Disorders



Insomnia is a medical condition which has been contributing to a significant number of short and long term disability claims over the last few years. The medical and legal challenge we often encounter with Insomnia disability claims is whether Insomnia is a mental or physical disability. If it is considered a mental condition then most ERISA governed group disability policies will attempt to limit disability benefits to a two year maximum benefit period. Insomnia is a very disabling condition, because if a person cannot sleep at night, then how could they possibly have the mental capacity to complete their duties during an 8 hour work shift the next day. Disability carriers will argue that with the proper sleep medication, a person can be cure from Insomnia. In some cases this is true, but not every case. The side effects of drugs like Ambien and Lunesta cause more harm than good for some people. It is a horrible situation for people with insomnia and it is even worse when a disability carrier try to argue that the person should be able to return to work without any problems. Insomnia is a subjective condition and there are very few test which can verify the condition. There are sleep study test, but the sleep study test are subjective and not designed to deal exclusively with Insomnia.

We recommend that all of our client with insomnia treat with a board certified sleep specialist. Most claimants are not aware that a sleep specialist doctor exist. We have worked with the some of the best sleep doctors in the country and we know what it takes to properly document medical support for a person with insomnia. Insomnia is a chronic problem which prevents millions of people each year from performing their jobs with reasonable continuity. Many of our clients disabled by insomnia have additional disabling conditions which contributed to their inability to work. Insomnia often coincides with other disabling conditions such as anxiety and depression, neurologic disease, sleep disorder, pain disorders, respiratory conditions, urinary disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Our disability insurance attorneys have been helping disability insurance claimants since 1979 and we invite you to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your disability claim. We can help with the application for benefits, ERISA appeal, or filing of a lawsuit in any federal court nationwide.

Check back on this page for updated information about insomnia and disability insurance. We add new stories regularly as well as information about resolved cases that might be relevant to you.

Resources on Insomnia and Sleep Disorders

There are 19 opinions so far. Add your comment below.

Tim:

I have long term disability insurance that I enrolled in 12 years ago, when I began employment with my current company. Within the past 2-3 years I have been diagnosed with chronic degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, chronic asthma, chronic insomnia and ankylosing spondylitis. The veterans administration has me rated at 70% disabled. I have not discussed my medical condition with my employer for fear it could lead to my termination. Through the past 12 years, I have been a top performer within the organization, but I don’t want to be considered a liability.

My question is simple, would the diseases diagnosed (for which I receive continuing treatment) considered grounds for long term disability? The symptoms definitely affect my job performance and the side effects of the medications are almost worse than the root problems. My duties require physical dexterity and international travel. I am a senior project manager, but there is an expectation to perform system installation (physically demanding work) in heavy industry.

Your response is much appreciated.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Tim,

In order to properly answer your question we would need to review your disability policy and discuss with you the type of medical support you would have from your treating physicians. We would also need to have a better understanding of your occupational duties. If you contact us, we can arrange a free phone consultation to discuss your options.

You may also find our video about the application process helpful.

Benjamin Johnson:

I have severe insomnia that started 3 years ago, I feel it is a an effect of a severe rollover accident I was in 18 years ago. The reason I feel this way is because my memory was impaired shortly after the accident and has gotten significantly worse over the years. I have been taking Seroquel and Ambien for three years now which helped me to fall asleep, but I never slept for very long, but they quit working about 8 months ago (I have built up a very high tolerance to everything I even took a narcotic that was prescribed to me by a dentist along with Seroquel and Ambien and Methocarbamol in a desperate attempt to get some sleep to no avail) and recently I had a very bad reaction that caused my pulse to shoot up to 200 for which I had to go to emergency room and now I am afraid to take anything, but I can’t sleep at all and if I try to stay up until I hopefully get sleepy I start to feel bad and very flush and my pulse goes up. This has really affected my ability to function at work and has left me depressed to the point that I don’t want to do anything. I can’t afford to do a sleep study which would, I am 100% sure, show my brain not functioning right when it comes to sleep. All I really have is my doctor’s records. What are my options and is it possible to claim a disability?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Benjamin,

You can definitely claim disability for insomnia, but are you seeking SSDI or do you have a disability insurance policy? Either way, you will need a treating physician which will state that you cannot work as a result of your insomnia. You should also consider a neuropsychological examination to determine if you have any cognitive impairment.

Timothy Roylance:

I work for a night package delivery company. I stopped sleeping well over a year ago. In July I took a sleep study and was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I tried to use the CPAP machine, but just could not fall asleep at all. I was unable to work and this led to depression, that I spend one night inpatient and five more outpatient. I then received an operation for sleep apnea, that was supposed to be easy, but I spent three days in ICU and three more in the hospital due to unbelievable facial swelling. My sleep never returned. After three months of healing I took a sleep study that showed I only slept less than one hour in the six allotted and that my sleep apnea is now worse than it was before surgery by a sizeable amount. I am still not sleeping, and I saw a neurologist that wrote he felt it was due to night shift work as well as sleep apnea. My company only pays 5 years for psychiatric, and I think my psychiatric is obviously due to my sleep apnea and shift work. I have not filed for disability yet because they say sleep problems don’t qualify.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Timothy,

I am not sure who told you that you would qualify, but if you have a disability policy from your employer, then we could review it and let you know if you are eligible. We have never seen a disability policy that excludes sleep disorders as a disability.

Nichole:

Hello,

I just started working 3rd shift and was on my 7th week of it when my employer said they were forcing me to take a leave of abscence due to my Dr. stating I have insomnia and asking them to put me on first shift. My employer is the one who stated I needed to file for my short term disability thought Sedgwick.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Nichole,

What is the status of your claim?

Nicole:

They are just now reviewing it. I don’t believe I will get STD because it isn’t my Dr putting me on leave, it’s my employer. My Dr is just saying I can’t work 3rd shift.

Evelyn Carrion:

I suffer from insomnia, I get up about 8 times at night. I have an over avtive bladder and multiple gastric ulcers. It is very troublesome to not sleep and ho to work and feel very tired at 10 am in the morning. What should I do?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Evelyn,

First and foremost, see a doctor if you are not being treated. If you are employed and covered under an employer provided disability policy you can attempt to file a claim for benefits under same if the condition is disabling (as defined by any such policy) from working.

David M.:

Can an employer in PA legally put you out on short term disability for not being able to do swing shift work? Same job classification and positions exist within the company without rotating shifts at other locations.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

David, that is more of a question for an employment attorney, as such you will need to consult with one in order to determine if your employer is violating any PA laws.

Mary:

I have had primary insomnia for my entire life. I didn’t even sleep much as a baby. I was able to use my insomnia to my benefit for many years working 84+ hours a week, raI sing 6 kids and running a house on about 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night. I had to quit my last Jon because I just could not concentrate and the profound physical fatigue I feel. I now average 10 15hrs sleep a week. I need to be on disability but worry because insomnia is boy covered. Most days I can not Eben drive Brevard I don’t freel safe. Help.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mary, if you do have disability insurance coverage from your employer please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in making a claim for benefits under same.

Jassett:

I have been working nights for 20 years, got home one morning no sleep all day. I called in, then I slept that night for 5 hours. Went to work the next night, call in the next night. This went on for 2 weeks. I have ltd and std from my job for the pass 20 yrs. My manager took me off the schedule, so I can file disability. I went to the doctor before I was dismissed. My doctor put me on sleeping pills, the first one I took works, after that it did not work, I took two could not go to sleep. I got the papers from my disability company and gave it to my doctor… she wants me to do MRI. I choose sleep centre, which I did 3/23 17, even before I got the result I was denied. My result will be 3/27/17. They approve my leave from work, but denied paying me, and gave me the option to appeal. Thanks for help. I am still unable to sleep, depression, stress, nerves problem, and frequent trip to the bathroom. My doctor did not help in any way.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Jassett, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim and how we may be able to assist you in appealing the denial.

Gherry:

I have an existing claim for my short disability to my employer and was denied due to medical information submitted by my primary physician was not sufficient to support the claim for the disability benefits. What strong supporting document that my physician need to provide for me to get me approve on my claim.

Attorney Jay Symonds:

Gherry, the facts and circumstances of every claim are different so there is no one piece of medical evidence that the definitive answer to supporting a disability. In short, the medical records must establish – through physical examinations, office visits and objective testing – that you suffer functional restrictions and limitations that would preclude you from performing the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation. Sometimes the issue is that the records provided do not establish that a claimant suffers from restrictions and limitations sufficient to rise to the level of disabling.

Disability benefits are not paid based on a diagnosis, but rather the functional limitations associated with a particular diagnosis. I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address the specific questions you have regarding your situation.

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