According to the National Institute of Health, close to 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition when an individual is temporarily unable to move his or her respiratory muscles and is unable to breathe, through the nose and mouth. Breathing stops altogether and this episode can last for 10 to 30 seconds at a time. For sleep apnea patients, such episodes can happen even 400 times during the sleeping hours.
Sleep apnea undeniably is a disabling condition. It is considered to be rampant for people over forty but can also strike someone younger. In the unfortunate event that the condition renders you disabled and unproductive, you should know the details about filing social security disability for sleep apnea if you want to be financially assisted during the difficult years of your life. However, applying for social security disability benefits can be a long, drawn-out process, and you might be disappointed if you expect fast results.
Steps in Filing Social Security Disability for Sleep Apnea
Though there is a pronounced need, not many of us know how to go about the task of filing social security disability for sleep apnea. Let us examine the process of filing for the benefits:
- The American Social Security Administration (SSA) allows you to file social security disability for sleep apnea via mail, phone, as well as through personal contact. All you need to do is to locate the closest social security office near you.
- The first step is to complete and submit Form no. 3368 – available at the SSA website. This is a ten-page form seeking some basic information about you and the profile of your disability. The SSA wants to know how the disability arising out of sleep apnea is affecting your on-job performance and limiting your abilities to do physical activity, etc.
- As mentioned earlier, decisions from SSA may not be fast. Once a decision is made, you will receive a Notice of Determination. In case you find that your application has been rejected, you could file a written request for reconsideration of your application within 60 days. However, if the Department finds you not eligible for filing social security disability for sleep apnea, your repeated appeals may also be turned down.
So what should you do if your appeal for reconsideration also gets rejected? You apply to the Administrative Law Judge Hearing within 60 days of their refusal to entertain your application. You would need an attorney at this stage, and the good news is that at this stage, most of applications for filing social security disability for sleep apnea are favorably decided by the judge.
In case you feel that you are not fairly treated and not receiving the justice you deserve, you could move to the District Court and the Courts at the State level.
Important Points to Keep in Mind When Filing for Sleep Apnea Disability
Here are some important points to remember regarding filing social security disability for sleep apnea:
- The entire process of filing for disability benefits is available online.
- You need to apply for the disability benefits as soon as disability strikes you.
- It takes about 3 to 5 months for SSA to process any application.
- Any clarification that the SSA needs from you should also be complied with as soon as possible.
- If during the process of filing social security disability for sleep apnea you find some details that are confusing, you can get requisite help by contacting the social security office closest to where you live.
- Please remember that all details asked by SSA are relevant in processing your application. The more authentic information you provide the better are your chances to get approval faster.