Can I File a Social Security Disability Claim for Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)?
Social Security Disability Insurance is designed to provide an income for those individuals who suffer from disabilities which prevents them from earning an income through regular work. Many medical conditions are sufficiently severe that they are considered by the Social Security Administration to qualify automatically as disabilities.
In other cases, an applicant must show that the disability prevents them from doing their regular work; that they cannot do other work available, and that the condition is expected to last for more than one year.
Social Security Disability Insurance does not cover temporary disabilities or partial disabilities.
Is POTS A Disability?
Yes, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) disability is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration. POTS is a condition in which a change from a lying or seated position to a standing position causes an increase in heart rate (tachycardia), without any simultaneous drop in blood pressure. Besides the increase in heart rate, some of the symptoms of POTS include “brain fog,” or difficulty in concentration, blurred vision, and general weakness.
People suffering from the disorder may have trouble finishing tasks and may not enjoy ordinary work or leisure activities. Given the increase in heart rate and other symptoms, people suffering from POTS may find it hard to engage in any kind of physical activity or movement, and this may severely affect or prevent their ability to work.
Because of the nature of the disorder, and its effect on the heart, it is imperative for an individual with POTS to seek a careful diagnosis and to take appropriate treatments. With treatment many patients find their symptoms diminish. This site is not intended to provide medical advice, and individuals who believe they suffer from POTS should consult their physicians.
Apart from lightheadedness, people with POTS experience fainting, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure and other symptoms may include:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Problems in sleeping
- Problems in focusing
Types of POTS
There are mainly four types of POTS including:
- Neuropathic POTS: This type of POTS arises from damaged nerves, presumably due to an autoimmune disorder. The damaged nerves are responsible for controlling the blood vessels in the limbs and abdomen.
- Hyperadrenergic POTS: This type of POTS is characterized by high levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine.
- Hypovolemic POTS: In this type of POTS, a person faces extremely low blood volume. Any condition that causes a low blood volume might also cause POTS as a side effect.
- Secondary POTS: There is autonomic neuropathy in secondary POTS. Other causes of secondary POTS might include lupus, diabetes, and autoimmune disease.
How Is POTS Illness Treated?
The treatment of POTS varies based on the cause of the disease, the severity of the symptoms and the health of the patient. Many times, the illness is not curable. Therefore, doctors often concentrate on treating the symptoms of POTS disability instead of curing the actual condition. Some of the treatments might include midodrine, pyridostigmine, beta-blockers, and salt tablets.
Some health care professionals suggest that patients should wear medical compression socks that improve blood flow in the legs. Sometimes, even a simple measure like taking more fluid or more salt will also be helpful for a patient.
Doing yoga or walking can also help by increasing blood flow and maintaining a healthy heart. In any case, it is imperative for a person who believes they have POTS consult their physician before undertaking any treatment or regimen.
Besides lifestyle changes like exercise and diet, a doctor treating POTS may suggest that a patient make other modifications to their lifestyle. Such changes may include altering the type of work that the patient can perform.
In such cases, applying for SSDI may prove to be helpful to a patient, as they may be able to qualify for financial assistance. The benefits may be able to improve the quality of life for a POTS patient.
Can You Get SSDI Disability for POTS?
In order to receive SSDI benefits, the applicant must prove that the symptoms of the POTS disability are severe enough, and must also prove that the person is otherwise qualified.
To be considered severe enough, an applicant claiming a disability must prove
- The applicant cannot do the work they did before the medical condition occurred;
- The applicant cannot adjust to the condition and do any other work available in the local economy;
- The medical disability is expected to last for at least one year, or to result in death.
In addition, the applicant must have a certain number of Social Security “work credits” based on either wages or self-employment income.
A hearing officer for the Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate the medical records and evidence presented by the applicant to determine whether benefits will be allowed. The determination will, if successful, qualify the applicant to receive SSDI benefits.
Because medical records are vital evidence in a disability determination, it is crucial for an applicant to receive medical treatment regularly. A medical provider must make detailed records of the severity of the POTS Syndrome and Disability.
To determine the SSDI eligibility, it is also important to keep careful track of time and the length of the disability, so that the hearing officer can analyze the date of the diagnosis of the disability.
The SSA will then determine whether the applicant suffers from a severe case of POTS or not. The background of the applicant will also be analyzed to determine whether an alternative job is available. The presumption of the SSA is that some people may be able to keep symptoms under control, can do some work, and can complete light tasks. Such individuals are expected to find positions that can accommodate their disabilities.
How Can A Lawyer Assist You in Getting POTS Disability Benefits?
The filing of a disability claim with the SSA is a time-consuming and complex process. It is quite tedious to handle the complex paperwork while managing a medical condition. The process is also very complicated and any mistake can defeat a disability claim. However, working with an experienced attorney will help ease the overall process. A diligent attorney will help an applicant work through the entire application process.
A lawyer will guide an individual in the following ways:
- How to apply for the Disability Benefits;
- Ensure that everything related to the application is filed correctly the first time.
- Appeal any denial by a hearing officer in case the application for disability benefits for POTS is initially rejected
- Appeal an existing denial of long term disability (LTD) benefits
Consulting with an experienced disability lawyer will ensure that an application is correctly prepared before it is filed. In addition to this, an experienced lawyer will ensure that all medical evidence and assessments are done carefully and correctly.