Thrombosis and Disability Benefits: What You Need to Know
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when a thrombus, or blood clot, occurs deep in your veins, typically in your legs. When the clot develops, it restricts blood flow to the affected area and causes pain or swelling. What makes DVTs especially dangerous is that the clot can disengage and lodge in other parts of your body, causing an embolism.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include redness, swelling, and pain in the area where they have developed. After the clots have been diagnosed by blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound, and evaluation of the blood flow in your legs, your doctor will normally treat them with blood thinners. Occasionally, however, surgery is required.
Having DVT puts you at risk for a stroke or pulmonary embolism, both serious conditions that may make working inadvisable. It could also qualify you for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits if you can demonstrate that your condition is expected to last at least 12 months.
The Social Security Administration will review the impact DVT has had on your life and your functional limitations, and use your medical record to develop a residual functional capacity (RFC) for you.
Medically Qualifying with Deep Vein Thrombosis
It is difficult to make a successful claim for disability benefits due to DVT alone. An associated complication, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), is listed in the Blue Book, the SSA’s manual of disabling conditions. CVI arises when DVT damages the veins in your legs, preventing the proper flow of blood to your extremities and causing chronic pain, leg ulcers, and difficulty walking.
To meet the eligibility requirements for Listing 4.11 (chronic venous insufficiency), you must have been diagnosed with CVI and experience one of the following conditions:
- Brawny edema: severe leg swelling accompanied by tissue thickening and discoloration
- Leg cramping, burning, or itching
- Wounds that recur and resist healing despite over three months of treatment
The report from your doctor must indicate the history of your deep vein thrombosis/chronic venous insufficiency, all treatments you have received, and the ways that your condition has impaired your ability to function.
If the SSA determines that you don’t meet a Blue Book listing but your RFC analysis indicates that your condition leaves you unable to work, you may still be eligible for disability benefits under a medical vocational allowance system.
Getting Help with Your Deep Vein Thrombosis Claim
The majority of applications for disability benefits are denied the first time around, even those for Blue Book-listed conditions. Because there is no direct listing for deep vein thrombosis, the likelihood that you will be turned down is stronger. If you have a problem being approved for the benefits you truly need, prepare to request another review and, if necessary, file an appeal.
To maximize your chances of approval, contact a Social Security disability attorney who can guide and support you through what can be a complicated process. They will ensure that your application addresses all relevant points and that you have included the medical evidence necessary to prove your disability.
He or she will also help you prepare for any appeal hearing and represent you at the actual event. A Social Security disability attorney will advocate for you so that you can focus on healing and facing a better future.