If your blood pressure is chronically above 140/90, you have high blood pressure. High blood pressure, which is referred to as hypertension in the medical community, is often a secondary symptom of diseases such as renal disease, obesity, or disorders of the adrenal gland. In other cases, the cause is unknown.
The symptoms of high blood pressure and the degree to which they affect your life vary. Common symptoms include:
- Problems with vision
- Shortness of breath
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased risk of heart failure
Treatments for high blood pressure range from lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet, adding an exercise regimen, and losing weight to medication specifically designed to address hypertension.
How to Apply with High Blood Pressure
If your high blood pressure makes it impossible for you to continue working, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. You will need to demonstrate that your hypertension affects one or more of your body systems to the degree that you cannot be reasonably expected to continue working.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a specific listing in the Blue Book under which they evaluate high blood pressure claims. Instead, the SSA will evaluate your disability claim based on the criteria for the systems of your body which are affected. The most common body systems affected and the section of the Blue Book in which you can find the criteria for each are:
- Heart (Section 4, Cardiovascular System)
- Brain (Section 11, Neurological, usually 11.4, Central Nervous System Vascular Accident)
- Kidneys (Section 6, Genitourinary Impairments)
- Eyes (Section 2, Special Senses and Speech)
The exact criteria which will be used to determine whether you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits will be based on the criteria for those sections. The medical documentation you will be required to produce also depends on which of your body’s functions are affected. In any case, you will need to present the results of all pertinent blood pressure tests.
When claiming Social Security disability benefits, you will want to list out all medical and mental conditions which you deal with, regardless of whether they are related to your high blood pressure or not. The SSA will take all of your medically verifiable conditions into account. Even if you don’t have any single condition which meets the requirements for disability benefits which are outlined in the Blue Book, you may still qualify if the sum total of all of your disabling conditions is shown to be equivalent to one of the listings. Additionally, if you can show that your conditions make it impossible to continue doing any kind of available work for which you could reasonably be trained, you will qualify for benefits.
If your high blood pressure is the result of renal failure (kidneys), heart failure, or other listed conditions, you will likely be evaluated based on the criteria for those conditions. However, it is still important to include as much information as possible about your high blood pressure.
Your High Blood Pressure Disability Case
If you are claiming Social Security disability benefits based on high blood pressure, you should secure the services of an attorney who is familiar with the Social Security system in your state. Social Security lawyers can help you present the evidence for your claim in a manner which is more likely to be approved by the SSA.
A Social Security attorney can help you, even if you have already been denied benefits. Whether you are just starting the process of making a disability claim, or have received a denial and are unsure how to proceed through the appeals process, your Social security lawyer can provide immeasurable help. Your initial consultation is free and your disability attorney will only collect if your claim is ultimately awarded.