Napoleon, OH asked in Social Security for Ohio

Q: Can I get SSDI if my Narcolepsy is bad enough? I fall asleep standing, driving, sitting, doing anything.

I already take stimulants prescribed by my doctor but he says I'm at the highest dose and I still fall asleep. I am very high risk at my job for injury and can barely even meet quota anymore because I'm just so tired. I even fall asleep while working on my feet.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maria Elena Bermudez
Maria Elena Bermudez
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA

A: Yes, you can get SSD if your narcolepsy is severe and prevents you from performing work functions. It's great that you are treating with a doctor and hopefully they are documenting the problems you are having with work. This will help your claim. Here's some info from SSA's website telling you how they evaluate this disorder:

Although narcolepsy and epilepsy are not truly comparable illnesses, when evaluating medical severity, the closest listing to equate narcolepsy with is Listing 11.02, Epilepsy (

The severity of narcolepsy should be evaluated after a period of 3 months of prescribed treatment. It is not necessary to obtain an electroencephalogram (EEG) in narcolepsy cases. A routine EEG is usually normal, and when special attempts are made to obtain abnormal rapid eye movement (REM) sleep patterns, they may or may not be present even in true cases of narcolepsy. Also, narcolepsy is not usually treated with anticonvulsant medication, but is most frequently treated by the use of drugs such as stimulants and mood elevators for which there are no universal laboratory blood level determinations available. Finally, it is important to obtain from an ongoing treatment source a description of the medications used and the response to the medication, as well as an adequate description of the claimant's alleged narcoleptic attacks and any other secondary events such as cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations or sleep paralysis.

Best of luck!

- Maria

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