Benefits for Narcolepsy
Paul Adams was only 37 when Attorney Neil H. Good represented him at his Social Security Administration hearing. Adams, married with no children, had suffered from a sleep disorder his entire life. He completed two years of college and worked as a computer support specialist for 15 years before his disorder rendered him unable to continue working. He filed for Social Security Disability, but he was denied at application and again at reconsideration.
In his pre-hearing memo, in preparation for a hearing before the Social Security Administration’s Administrative Law Judge, Attorney Good made clear the extent and severity of Adams’s disorder. Adams had narcolepsy, and had suffered from the condition possibly since infancy. He had recurrent periods of an irresistible urge to sleep during the day accompanied by cataplexy, attacks of loss of muscle tone sometimes with actual collapse. Adams also suffered disturbances in his sleep: difficulty falling asleep; hypnogogic hallucinations (episodes of hearing and seeing things as he was falling asleep); sleep paralysis (a sensation of being unable to move or talk while drifting into sleep or upon awakening); periods of automatic behavior (talking or performing routine tasks while in a sleep state with no memory of the event upon waking); prolonged awakenings; vivid dreams; and, awakening unrefreshed or with headaches. The diagnosis of narcolepsy was supported by a polysomnogram and a Multiple Sleep Latency Test. Adams had sleep apnea and had been prescribed a CPAP machine. Adams also suffered from migraines and had been diagnosed with a personality disorder with auditory hallucinations.
At the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge, after reviewing conflicting opinions from medical experts, agreed that Paul Adams suffered chronic and severe narcolepsy, unrelieved by medical treatment. The judge awarded Adams Social Security Disability benefits.