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

Read 5 Recently Resolved Cases

Read 4 Lawsuit Summaries

Leave a comment or ask us a question

There are 19 comments

  • 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.

    Jay SymondsJul 16, 2019  #19

  • 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.

    GherryJul 16, 2019  #18

  • 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.

    Stephen JessupMar 23, 2017  #17

  • 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.

    JassettMar 21, 2017  #16

  • 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.

    Stephen JessupJun 8, 2016  #15

  • 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.

    MaryJun 3, 2016  #14

  • 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.

    Stephen JessupApr 15, 2016  #13

  • 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.

    David M.Apr 14, 2016  #12

  • 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.

    Stephen JessupMay 19, 2015  #11

  • 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?

    Evelyn CarrionMay 18, 2015  #10

  • 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.

    NicoleNov 7, 2014  #9

  • Nichole,

    What is the status of your claim?

    Stephen JessupNov 5, 2014  #8

  • 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.

    NicholeNov 4, 2014  #7

  • 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.

    Gregory DellJan 14, 2013  #6

  • 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.

    Timothy RoylanceJan 13, 2013  #5

  • 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.

    Gregory DellApr 16, 2012  #4

  • 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?

    Benjamin JohnsonApr 16, 2012  #3

  • 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.

    Gregory DellFeb 2, 2012  #2

  • 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.

    TimJan 30, 2012  #1


Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.


Bruce R. (Arizona)

Steve Dell has done an exceptional job with my disability application process. The firm is extremely well managed. They have acquired an incredible amount of experience over many years. I recommend them for disability insurance claims without reservation. 

Don (Florida)

I called this firm a few months ago completely disparaged due to a company cutting off disability benefits at a time that nearly caused me to lose everything.

Attorney Alex Palmera and Danielle worked hard to reach an amicable settlement and my case was settled a few months later. This is a good firm and the specific expertise in disability claims saved me countless hours of hassle at a time when an already fragile state existed.

Thank you Mr. Palamara and Danielle.

Sandra B. (Arkansas)

I have nothing but good things to say about how my buyout was handled with my disability claim. The level of professionalism was amazing. All of my questions and concerns were answered either by Danielle L. or Alex P. in such a timely manner and with such care I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to approach their provider with buyout options.

They did a fantastic job communicating between the provider and me, always keeping my best interest at heart and always answering my many many questions. They really did take most of the stress out of this whole situation. I would give them a 10 out of 10 for every step of this crazy journey. Thank you so much for helping me through this.

Brenda R. (New York)

I needed assistance with an appeal for a LTD claim that was initially denied. Stephen understood what needed to happen to win the appeal and he did win the appeal for me.

Michael C. (Virginia)

Greg Dell and his assistant Anneli have been extremely responsive and helpful, not only our initial consultations, but in follow-ups 1 and 2 years later with the insurance company to ensure that they comply with their agreements (which they did), as well as a separate and only slightly-related inquiry about our health insurance. I always hear back from them very quickly, which is rare and greatly appreciated.

Jeff P. (Oklahoma)

After a very long and frustrating ordeal to keep my LTD payments coming I decided to seek assistance from and attorney. After much research and asking those in the legal profession Dell & Schaefer seemed to be the top choice. I reached out and Alex Palamara was the attorney assigned to my case. All I can say is the experience was outstanding. Both Alex and his Paralegal, Danielle Lauria were excellent to work with. They were very kind, concerned, understanding of my frustrations and treated me with the utmost respect. Communication was excellent with regular updates and telling me what I could expect in each stage of the process.

Alex was also very straight forward with what to expect and no pie in the sky promises or expectations were made. In the end we won our case and I believe it was solely due to their experience and knowledge of not only the laws but the insurance companies as a whole. I would highly recommend them and am very grateful for the help they afforded to me.

Chad B. (Illinois)

I originally spoke with 3 other long term disability lawyers about my case before contacting Dell and Schaefer. None of those law firms would take it. They said the chances of me winning was not good. After finding Dell and Schaefer online I spoke with one of the attorneys that has since left. He did take my case but later it was picked up by Rachel Alters. Rachel is amazing and a very intelligent attorney. She not only won my case but also was able to get my back pay for 6 months.

I also cannot say enough about Sonia Nogueira. Sonia was always quick to answer any of my questions. I would usually hear back from her within hours of sending her a email. I do not know where I would be if I hadn’t contacted them. My family and I cannot thank them enough. Don’t let an insurance company tell you they are not responsible for paying you. I paid them for 20 years monthly and they looked for any reason they could not to have to pay me when I needed my benefit. Thank you Rachel and Sonia for all you guys do.

Paul L. (New York)

Words can only scratch the surface regarding my experience working with Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. It’s a very emotional experience making the decision to utilize disability insurance. The unknowns were/are scary. From the very first phone call, the support staff was/are very professional and reassuring. I have been working with Attorney Steven Dell for approximately 10 years. He is confident, reassuring, listens to and addresses all my concern, and is extremely dilligent in understanding my specific policies for how they impact me. It is very reassuring that Steven handles and deals with the insurance company on my behalf. Attorney Dell’s team, and specifically Merlin, Attorney Dell’s assistant, is simply fantastic. Her professionalism and attention to detail have made all my communications with the office seamless.

Simply put, my experience with Dell & Schaefer made the emotional rollercoaster experience of my neck surgery seem like a walk in the park.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, to both Attorney Steven Dell and to Merlin for how you have helped me over these past 10 years.

Dilligence, Reassurance, Professionalism at every step, Confidence, Results.

With 10 years experience with working with Dell & Schaefer, taking that step to call Attorneys Dell & Schaefer was one of the best professional and personal decisions I have ever made.

You want to know what you can do – the below comment about posting your first name and last name initial on our website. Put up my full name, phone number, and email address. I will gladly speak to anyone about your office and tell them my story and how instrumental Steven and Merlin have been in my life over the past 10 years.

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