Though sleep apnea alone doesn't qualify as a disability under Social Security Administration guidelines, it can cause cor pulmonale, in which the right ventricle of the heart is enlarged, according to DisabilityBenefitsCenter.org. People with cor pulmonale may qualify for disability benefits if they can prove they are unable to work.
Sleep apnea can cause hypertension in the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart, which leads to cor pulmonale, states DisabilityBenefitsCenter.org. To apply for disability benefits, a person must show evidence of high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, chronic pulmonary insufficiency or cognitive impairment. Such evidence includes lab results, medical history and doctors' letters.