Getting Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits for Insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by the inability to fall asleep easily, stay asleep, or sleep regular hours. Even if you are able to sleep, you may wake up unrefreshed. Insomnia can impact both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall quality of life.
If your insomnia is impacting your ability to work, you may be eligible to apply for long-term disability (LTD) benefits. The long-term disability lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick understand that insomnia is difficult to manage and want to assist with your claim. You can contact us at 800-544-9144 for a free consultation to see if we can help.
An Overview of Insomnia
Many people have difficulties getting a good night’s sleep, but for those with insomnia, it may feel impossible. The Sleep Foundation characterizes chronic insomnia as a long-term pattern of difficulty sleeping, occurring three days per week for three months or longer. If you have insomnia, you likely have difficulties in falling asleep or staying asleep. You may wake up too early and be unable to fall back asleep, or, if you do manage to sleep, still feel exhausted in the morning.
While insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, it is often the result of underlying problems or conditions. The leading causes of insomnia are mental health conditions, such as anxiety, chronic stress, or depression. Restless thoughts or constant worrying can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Insomnia can also be the result of physical health conditions. These might include chronic pain, asthma, neurological disorders, overactive thyroid, and other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
Medications, such as antidepressants or drugs used to treat other conditions, can also cause insomnia. Many over-the-counter medications may contain stimulants, like caffeine. Insomnia may also be caused by poor lifestyle habits, including using screens before bed or eating too late, or consuming products with alcohol or nicotine in them.
When we sleep, the brain and body restore themselves. Without this restoration, people often experience poor concentration, lack of focus, and impaired judgement, while their bodies can feel physically fatigued or run down. Lack of sleep, or poor-quality sleep, can increase risk of stroke, heart disease, or high blood pressure, and can disrupt your immune system or metabolism. It can also increase the risk or intensity of mental health conditions.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Symptoms of insomnia may include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early and being unable to fall back to sleep
- Short periods of sleep
- Not feeling rested or restored after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Anxiety or depression
- Difficulty focusing, concentrating, or remembering
- Increased accidents or errors
Diagnosis and Treatment
A diagnosis of insomnia can depend on your situation or underlying conditions, but may generally consist of the following:
- Physical exam: If the cause of your insomnia is not known, your doctor may perform a physical exam, which can include blood tests to check for thyroid issues or other conditions.
- Review your sleep habits: This may include a sleep diary and sleep-related questions that can determine sleep patterns, daytime sleepiness, and other symptoms.
- Sleep study: Sleep studies require you to say overnight at a sleep center. Tests and monitoring are performed that record your body activity while you sleep, including brainwaves, breathing, heartbeat, and eye and body movements. A sleep study may reveal underlying sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
The first line of treatment for insomnia generally consists of cognitive behavioral therapy, which consists of changing your thought patterns and sleep habits. It can help you control negative habits that keep you from sleeping, and break cycles of restless thought. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help you develop better sleep-related behaviors, such as keeping a consistent bedtime, avoiding naps, and using your bed only to sleep or only during certain hours. Relaxation techniques are also implemented.
Sleeping pills may also be used to treat insomnia in addition to cognitive and behavioral therapy. Other treatment can depend on the underlying causes of your insomnia. If you have a physical condition, such as chronic pain, your treatment will likely address that as well.
Insomnia and Your Long-Term Disability Claim
It has been found that the quality of life in individuals with insomnia is severely impaired, and can affect performance at work, school, or while doing simple everyday tasks. If your insomnia is disrupting your ability to work, you may want to file a long-term disability claim to cover all or a portion of your income.
Lack of restful sleep can negatively impact your ability to focus on work tasks, especially ones that require high levels of concentration. You may be more likely to make mistakes or find yourself preoccupied with worry about your lack of sleep. If you have a mental health condition that causes your insomnia, or results from it, you will want to note that in your long-term disability claim. Anxiety, depression, and chronic stress, the leading causes of insomnia, can all greatly impact your job performance, and can also qualify for long-term disability.
If your insomnia stems from another illness, you may want to document your insomnia as evidence to support that condition. Insomnia may accompany disabling conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart problems, as well as the treatments used to alleviate such conditions. When filing a long-term disability claim, you will want to record any other condition that contributes to your insomnia and all symptoms you may be experiencing.
How Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Can Help
If you need help filing a long-term disability claim for your insomnia, the legal team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick is available to assist. Filing a long-term disability claim while suffering from insomnia can be difficult, especially if your insomnia affects your concentration or makes you more prone to mistakes. Our lawyers understand these difficulties, and it is our goal to make this process easier for you.
Our attorneys will review your long-term disability policy to ascertain which kinds of evidence will best support your claim. We will help you connect with medical experts who may be able to perform sleep studies or tests that provide additional documentation to back up your claim. Vocational experts can also aid you by evaluating your occupation and determining whether you are able to carry out your duties while suffering from insomnia.
CCK lawyers have expert knowledge in ERISA and long-term disability law. We can help you navigate the requirements under these laws and assist you in any litigation that may arise from them. Under ERISA, you cannot submit evidence beyond the appeal stage, and if you miss a deadline, it can result in a denial of benefits. We can help you submit everything in a timely manner.
We at CCK understand that suffering from insomnia is difficult and frustrating. We want you to be able to manage your condition so that you can improve your quality of life before returning to work. We can ease the stress of filing your initial claim or appealing a denial. CCK wants you to get the benefits to which you are entitled. You can contact us at 800-544-9144 today for a free consultation to find out if we may be able to assist you.
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