High blood pressure and SSDI benefits[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="taking blood pressure in PE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"][/caption]
Can I get disability for hypertension?
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) occurs when the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries is too high causing blood vessel and organ damage. This condition generally occurs over time for most individuals and can cause severe health problems.
Although early signs of this condition are difficult to detect, individuals will eventually start to have symptoms which can include headaches, dizziness or frequent nose bleeds. Claimants should get medical care, and claimants who have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease will need early medical intervention. Claimants may have high blood pressure as a result of an underlying medical condition (secondary hypertension) or they may have high blood pressure which develops over time (primary hypertension).
Secondary hypertension can be caused by medications, illegal drugs, tumors, birth defects and kidney disorders. Primary hypertension can be caused by genetics, diet, stress, lack of vitamins, age, race, obesity, smoking, pregnancy and lack of physical exercise.
How does the SSA evaluate high blood pressure?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines disability using two methods: determining if a claimants condition is listed on the SSA Listing of Impairments (Blue Book) or determining if the claimants condition is so severe it leaves the claimant with no ability to work or perform what they call substantial gainful activity (this is done through a medical vocational allowance).
Heart conditions are evaluated under listing 4.00 Cardiovascular System, and there are several conditions that can be evaluated under this listing: heart failure, heart disease, recurrent arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, heart transplant, aneurysm of aorta or other major branches of the heart, chronic venous insufficiency, and peripheral arterial disease.
It may be possible to meet a listing by either having the symptoms listed under these subsections or proving that your heart condition is as severe as one of these conditions listed. It also may be possible to win SSDI if your condition has caused additional health problems that might meet another listing. For instance, if you have had a stroke and suffered severe memory loss or paralysis you could be evaluated under the appropriate listing or if your high blood pressure has caused loss of vision you might meet the listing under 2.00 Special Senses and Speech. Talk to a disability lawyer if you are unsure of the type of medical evidence you need to meet a listing.
Winning SSDI for high blood pressure through a medical vocational allowance
Most claimants who have high blood pressure will have an easier time winning SSDI through a medical vocational allowance. Under this process you will need to have good medical evidence which proves that you do not have the residual capacity to work. This will be easier if you are older.
For instance, if you are 60 years of age and have been performing heavy work for 30 years and you are now unable to do this type of work, it will be much easier to prove to the SSA that you cannot work your current job or retrain for new work than someone who is 25 years of age.
Make sure your medical records list specific activities which you cannot perform: cannot lift more than 10 pounds, cannot walk for more than one hour, cannot sit for more than 1 hour, etc. This type of information provides objective evidence that you cannot work.
- SSI and SSDI - 5 Mistakes you may be making (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSA Medical Vocational Allowance (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSI and SSDI - What is the age requirement? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)