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Aneurysm of the Aorta and Social Security Disability

Aneurysm of the Aorta or Major Branches

The aorta is the largest artery in the human body. Roughly the diameter of a garden hose, it exits the heart at the top of the left ventricle, then immediately arches downward and then branches off, transporting freshly oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. The portion of the aorta which is above the diaphragm is called the thoracic aorta, the portion below the diaphragm is the abdominal aorta.

Sometimes the wall of a blood vessel can become weakened, either as the result of an injury, an infection, or a structural defect. This weakened area can bulge out, resulting in a condition called an aneurysm. An aneurysm can rupture, causing blood to leak. An aneurysm of the aorta is particularly dangerous due to its size and the amount of blood that flows through it.

A tear in the inner wall of the aorta may allow blood to leak into the wall’s middle layer, forcing the layers to separate. This condition is known as dissection.

When dissection occurs in the aortic arch, it is referred to as Type A. Dissection in the lower area of the aorta is Type B. A Type A dissection requires immediate surgical correction, whereas a Type B dissection may simply be closely monitored unless it restricts or disrupts the flow of blood to the extremities.

In the early stages, aortic aneurysms rarely cause any symptoms. As they grow in size, they may begin to exert pressure on nerves, resulting in back, abdominal, chest or leg pain or numbness.

If detected early, an aortic aneurysm can be managed. Blood pressure medications and lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, quitting smoking, etc) can help to reduce the risk of rupture. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct an aneurism in order to prevent a rupture. In the unfortunate event of a ruptured aortic aneurysm, it has been estimated that only between 10% and 25% of the patients survive.

Filing for Social Security Disability for an Aneurysm of the Aorta or Major Branches Diagnosis

Aneurysm of the aorta or major branches is listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) impairment listing manual (also known as the “Blue Book”) as a condition which can qualify a person to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

While most conditions listed in the Blue Book spell out very specific diagnostic standards that must be met in order for a given diagnosis to qualify for benefits, such is not the case with aneurysm of the aorta or major branches. In this case, the claimant must have an aneurysm that meets the definition of the condition due to any cause, demonstrated by appropriate imaging techniques, along with dissection which has not been controlled by prescribed treatment. The implication is that any aneurysm of the aorta or its major branches (such as the iliac arteries) with uncontrolled dissection is inherently dangerous enough to warrant disability benefits. Usually, the appropriate imaging techniques for aneurysm are echocardiography, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imagery (MRI).

Your Aneurysm of the Aorta or Major Branches Disability Case

If you have been diagnosed with an aneurysm of the aorta or one of its major branches, you are likely entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits because of the potential severity of the condition. While it may be tempting to attempt to handle the application paperwork on your own, it may very well be in your best interests to have your case evaluated by a Social Security Disability attorney.

In many cases, the process of applying for disability benefits is best left to a qualified Social Security Disability attorney. While most of us have a lot of experience filling out paperwork, there are a great many complexities involved with the disability application and approval process, and a seemingly insignificant mistake or omission could cause your case to be delayed for months, maybe even years. An attorney will be well versed in the common mistakes committed by disability applicants.

An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer has the skills and the training needed to complete the application and gather the other documents needed to get your paperwork processed in a timely manner, so you have a greater chance of having a favorable outcome to your disability case.

For more information on applying for disability benefits with an Aortic Aneurysm, or to speak directly with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney in your area, request a free disability evaluation today.