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Narcolepsy Disability

How to Apply for the Narcolepsy Disability Benefits?

A disability refers to a condition that is impacting your capability and preventing him or her from engaging in any kind of job or daily activities. According to World Health Organization (WHO), three classifications  qualify a condition for a disability discussed as follows: 

  • A disability affects your functioning such as losing vision or memory.
  • Disability is limiting movement in an individual’s body such as seeing or walking.
  • You are unable to engage in any daily activities such as running errands or work. 

Narcolepsy is an illness that causes you to sleep during the daytime along with loss of muscle control. For some people, there may be severe symptoms causing extreme limitations, thereby qualifying it as a disability. Therefore, it is important to seek guidance from a legal professional.

In the year 2016, it has been reported that people who are suffering from narcolepsy generally remain unemployed, as compared to those without narcolepsy. Unemployed people who are suffering from this illness begin to miss work or are not able to perform their job owing to Narcolepsy disability. 

When you are not able to work because of narcolepsy then he or she is entitled to receive the Social Security Disability Benefits. For applying for the disability benefits, you have to ensure that the symptoms qualify for these financial awards. Therefore, there must be a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that will provide a complete evaluation of your narcolepsy disability.

Is Narcolepsy a Disability?

Narcolepsy-DisabilityNarcolepsy has been qualified as a disability for those who would meet certain requirements as stated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Excessive daytime sleepiness, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and muscle control loss are the symptoms that you can suffer from Narcolepsy. This makes it challenging for people to engage in any kind of work. Sometimes some people might sleep during the daytime without any warning. 

This condition makes some of the jobs impossible such as operating heavy machinery and makes driving dangerous. People who are suffering from disabilities may impose restrictions on their capability to work. This makes them eligible for applying for the Benefits. 

Having said that, Narcolepsy does not qualify for the Social Security Administration (SSA) list of qualifying disabilities. However, if you are experiencing frequent sleep attacks then he or she will be able to get disability benefits.

To win the benefits for Narcolepsy disability, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Suffering from at least one episode of narcolepsy illness once a week. 
  • Undergoing treatment for 3 months or more and is still showing symptoms.
  • Ability is seriously impacted in performing daily activities such as driving or following directions.

In addition, you may also qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on the condition that you have been working for a certain time before getting disabled. Generally, you must have worked for the last 5 years out of 10 years. However, an individual will also get the benefits if he or she has worked for less than 10 years.

Can You Get Disability for Narcolepsy?

You can get the disability for Narcolepsy if you apply for the disability benefits as soon as possible. The approximate time that SSA takes to process the disability claim ranges from 3 to 5 months. Complete medical information and records must be submitted before applying for the Narcolepsy disability benefits by the SSA. The information must include:

  • Complete diagnosis of the illness
  • When the symptoms began to start
  • All the tests that your doctor performed during the diagnosis of the disability such as lab tests, sleep studies, and EEGs.
  • List of prescribed drugs that an individual takes and how they are affecting the illness
  • A letter is given by a doctor stating how Narcolepsy is affecting your work capabilities such as sitting, lifting, and memorizing things.
  • How your doctor or other specialists put together all the information.

If your claim gets denied, you can generally file an appeal. The time that is specified to file an appeal is 60 days when the claim was denied. There is a possibility that the first appeal may get denied as many of the claims get rejected in the first instance.

When an appeal gets denied, then your appeal will be heard  before a judge. To make the overall process simple and convenient, you can refer to a legal expert who has experience in handling disability matters. 

However, if your approval for getting the disability benefits gets rejected then you can ask the employer for accommodations. As per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) most organizations are making changes that help their employees having disabilities to engage in any kind of work. 

You can ask the employer to make some adjustments to the working hours. This might help you to sleep later, preventing disability for sleep apnea. You can also ask for frequent breaks and take naps. You are free to communicate with the human resource manager to seek any availability of accommodations.

Resources that Help You in Applying for the Narcolepsy Disability Claim

In attaining the Disability benefits apart from getting guidance from a doctor you can seek help from the following:

  • A legal expert who has the expertise of dealing with disability cases will assist you in getting the disability claims. 
  • A disability starter kit as specified by the Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • National Council on Disability
  • The International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet.

A Pennsylvania Disability Lawyer can help you in steering your overall process of the disability claim. Gather the right information and other documentation that will help you support your disability claim process.

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