The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates sleep apnea under the Respiratory Disorders section of the Blue Book listing of impairments. The complications of sleep-related breathing disorders are evaluated under the listing for the body system that is affected. For example, if your sleep apnea has caused chronic pulmonary hypertension, it will be evaluated under 3.09: Chronic pulmonary hypertension due to any cause. According to Omaha disability lawyers at Cuddigan Law, this listing is seldom met by applicants because of its significant requirements. However, many applicants are awarded benefits who have severe sleep apnea as one of their impairments, along with a showing that sleep apnea in combination with the other impairments, such as a heart condition or obesity prevents or significantly limits their ability to work.

Social Security regulations require a review of your long-term medical record to establish the diagnosis and the effect of treatment. The diagnosis of sleep apnea is established by a sleep study and treatment is often by the use of a CPAP machine. Often disability examiners cite non-compliance with treatment as a reason for denial of a claim. Many individuals with sleep apnea have difficulty using a CPAP machine. Daytime sleepiness which leads to ineffective work performance is established by a combination of patient complaints to a physician, applicant testimony and occasionally employer work performance evaluations. Long-term, untreated sleep apnea can lead to dementia and severe heart problems.

For more information about this disorder and Social Security contact us. For our free brochure Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case contact Omaha Disability Lawyer by calling (402) 933-5405 or email us at [email protected].

Timothy J. Cuddigan (Founder - Retired)
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Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience