Sinus Bradycardia is a heart condition in which the sinus node of the heart contracts too slowly. This condition causes decreased blood pressure or slower blood flow from the heart, resulting in common symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, blackouts, fainting, and vertigo. While some patients with sinus bradycardia experience no serious issues, others may have the condition in conjunction with another illness or serious, even life threatening, ailment.
Applying for SSD with Sinus Bradycardia
The manner in which your sinus bradycardia affects you is what determines if it will qualify you for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. There is no dedicated listing in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Blue Book for sinus bradycardia, which means there is no eligibility criterion to easily and swiftly evaluate an SSD application based on the condition.
Instead, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) staff tasked with evaluating disability claims must review your application and find it meets eligibility requirements in one of two ways in order for you to receive SSD benefits. They must either:
- Match your application and medical documentation to a listed condition that does appear in the Blue Book,
- Determine that you meet the criteria for a medical vocational allowance based on the severity of your condition and the limitations it imposes on your ability to hold gainful employment.
Matching Sinus Bradycardia to another Condition in the Blue Book
If your application is compared with listed conditions and is found equal in affect to one that is in the Blue Book, you can be approved for SSD benefits relatively easily. Common conditions that sinus bradycardia may be compared with include:
- Section 4.00 – Cardiovascular System – general listing, specifically the subsection pertaining to syncope
- Section 4.06 – Symptomatic congenital heart disease
When planning to apply for disability benefits for sinus bradycardia, you’ll want to review the SSA’s listing for cardiovascular impairments in general and employ the help of your doctor in understanding the information that appears in the Blue Book. You’ll also need your doctor’s help to ensure you have the appropriate tests, examinations, and treatments to satisfy SSD eligibility requirements.
For example, the formal diagnosis of sinus bradycardia alone requires an ECG that shows particular results, including a resting heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute, and a regular or irregular heart rhythm, dependent upon whether or not other areas of the heart are involved with, or affected by, the condition.
Other diagnostic results are also necessary to substantiate the diagnosis. Numerous other exams may also be required to rule out other medical conditions and to ensure your sinus bradycardia and the symptoms it causes are being treated properly.
In addition to including medical documentation in your application that matches the criteria listed for a Blue Book cardiac condition, you’ll also need to make sure your claim includes other supporting documentation, including statements from your medical doctors detailing:
- your symptoms,
- the frequency of symptomatic episodes,
- the medical intervention or hospitalization you’ve required,
- the kinds of medications you take, including doses and length of time you’ve taken the drugs,
- the severity of your symptoms and the manner in which they limit your daily life and your ability to work.
To receive SSD benefits, you must prove your sinus bradycardia symptoms and complications are severe enough to prevent you from holding down a job in which you’re able to earn a gainful living. The condition must keep you from working in any position for which you may be qualified, and not just in the traditional jobs you’ve held in the past.
Additionally, you’ll need to show your medical condition has been an issue for at least a year or is expected to continue to disrupt your ability to maintain gainful employment for at least twelve months. This is basic requirement for any SSD applicant.
Qualifying for a Medical Vocational Allowance with Sinus Bradycardia
If you’re unable to “match” the listing of a Blue Book medical condition, then your application for SSD benefits will be evaluated under the “medical vocational allowance”. To qualify for disability in this way, your application and supporting documentation must prove that although your condition doesn’t meet perfectly, or match closely enough, a listed impairment with the SSA, it still severely limits you and your ability to maintain employment.
Getting Help with Your Sinus Bradycardia SSD Application
Because sinus bradycardia is not always a disabling condition, you’ll need to coordinate your efforts to apply for SSD benefits with your doctor. He or she can help ensure your medical records are thorough and accurately reflect the limitations your condition imposes on you every day.
You may also want to seek help from a Social Security advocate or disability lawyer when putting together your application, collecting medical documentation, filling out other SSA required forms, or when preparing for reviews or an appeal hearing. Having the help of an attorney who is familiar with handling SSD claims like your own can increase your chances of being approved for benefits.