Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are conditions that cause disruption in normal sleep patterns. A person with sleep apnea for instance might suffer from hundreds of episodes per night of oxygen deprivation when they momentarily stop breathing while they are asleep. This can affect your entire body, but typically results in extreme daytime sleepiness. This could cause memory and concentration issues that could affect your ability to perform even simple tasks. If you are sleepy during the day, it is very difficult to work. However, it is critical to the success of your disability claim that you are fully compliant with all prescribed treatment. Too often we talk to folks who are prescribed the use of CPAP machine, but do not use it. If you are having difficulty using you CPAP machine make sure you talk about that to your doctor rather than just quit using it on your own.
Sleep related breathing disorders are covered by the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments under Section 3.10 — Sleep related breathing disorders – adult. This listing refers back to two others, Section 3.09 – Chronic cor pulmonae- Adult and Section 12.02 – Organic mental disorders – adult. However, even your condition does meet the criteria set forth in these listings, the symptoms of your sleep disorder could still contribute to causing you limitations of function that, when considered together with your other impairments, could prevent you from working. For instance, if you are limited to no more than sit down work due to some other issue such as knee arthritis, but you would tend to fall asleep while seated, then you could be considered disabled on that basis.