Is Narcolepsy A Disability?

Updated May, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure
Check Price

While it's a debilitating sleep impairment, the Social Security Association (SSA) doesn't consider narcolepsy a disability. This means that if you have narcolepsy, you don't automatically qualify for disability benefits.

Can I still apply for disability benefits?

Even though narcolepsy doesn't automatically qualify you for disability benefits, you're still able to apply for disability benefits if your narcolepsy is affecting your work.

What do I need to apply for narcolepsy disability benefits?

Narcolepsy isn't included on the SSA's list of impairments, so you'll need to equal a listing they've published to submit a claim. Equaling a listing means that the SSA looks at your symptoms and decides whether they're equal to a listed condition. Many narcoleptics gain disability benefits by showing that their symptoms are like epileptic symptoms. To prove that your symptoms are equal to epileptic symptoms, make sure you include these documents in your claim:

  • A note from your doctor verifying the severity and regularity of your sleep attacks and any prescribed treatments.
  • Any test results related to your narcolepsy that you have on file.

If the SSA decides that your narcolepsy isn't equal to epilepsy, there's one more step before they can deny your claim. They'll look at your medical file to decide what your residual functioning capacity, or RFC, is, which indicates the kind of work you can and can't do based on your file.

It's likely that your RFC states that you can't do any work involving driving, heavy machinery, or heights. So, SSA may decide there's no safe work you can perform. If they make this decision, you'll be able to receive disability benefits under medical-vocational allowance.

Should I tell people at work I have narcolepsy?

This is a tough personal decision to make with no "correct" answer. There are lots of pros to telling people at work that you have narcolepsy, but a few cons to consider as well.


  • It could help you get the accommodations you need, such as scheduled afternoon naps or flexible hours.
  • Co-workers may understand your behavior as symptomatic of narcolepsy rather than you being lazy.
  • It may allow employees to handle your symptoms.
  • You may find support in the workplace after they comprehend how hard narcolepsy can be.


  • Coworkers and employers may not understand you and form harmful misconceptions about you.
  • Your employer may unjustly cut or change your hours/work due to their misconceptions.

Will a new mattress help with narcolepsy?

If you've tried just about everything and haven't seen your narcolepsy symptoms improve, it may be time to invest in a quality mattress. Improving sleep quality can ease narcolepsy; investing in the right mattress helps you on the right track towards a better night's sleep.

The #1 Best Mattress For Narcolepsy

Saatva is our top pick for the #1 best mattress for Narcolepsy in 2021! They're a luxury hypoallergenic mattress shipped directly to your door (with full-service white-glove delivery). They have over 50,000 reviews and continue to be one of the most reputable, established brands in the industry (founded in 2009). Check their price, here.

Check Price