Dizziness is a primary symptom of many different chronic and serious medical conditions. The underlying condition that causes your dizziness is what you’ll need to base your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits on, even if you suffer few other ill effects from having the condition. In other words, even if your main problem is dizziness, you must still show the Social Security Administration what your illness is and what causes your lack of balance or overall dizziness in order to qualify for SSD benefits.
Applying for SSD with Dizziness
No matter what causes the occurrence of dizzy spells, the SSA will need to determine the severity of your symptoms before a determination can be made on your eligibility for SSD benefits. To show how often and how severe your symptoms are, you’ll need substantial medical documentation in your application for disability benefits. That documentation must also meet or match the criteria for the underlying medical condition that causes your dizziness to happen in the first place.
To ensure your documentation meets or matches the listed criteria for your underlying medical condition, you’ll need to review, in coordination with your doctor and your Social Security attorney or advocate, the criteria for proving disability for the specific ailment on which you base your application. The SSA lays out this information in the Blue Book, which is a manual of potentially disabling conditions and the required substantiating documentation for proving disability for each diagnosis.
Dizziness in the Blue Book
Because dizziness can be caused by so many different medical conditions, there are many sections of the Blue Book which may apply to your application for SSD benefits. Here are just a few of the most common sections you may need to be reviewed:
- Section 3.02 – Chronic pulmonary insufficiency
- Section 4.04 – Ischemic heart disease
- Section 4.11 – Chronic venous insufficiency
- Section 9.00 – Endocrine Disorders
- Section 11.08 – Spinal cord or nerve root lesions, due to any cause
- Section 11.09 – Multiple sclerosis
Medical Evidence to Prove Dizziness
Medical evidence is crucial in any disability claim, regardless of what condition is the basis for your claim. In the case of dizziness SSD applications, there are several components that can increase your chances of being found eligible for benefits, including:
- Complete and thorough records showing all the physical exams, diagnostic tests, and other procedures you’ve undergone.
- A detailed statement from your doctor, documenting your condition, the symptoms you experience, and the manner in which all your symptoms, including your dizziness, affect your daily life and capabilities, including your ability to work
- Evidence showing the treatments available have not prevented your symptoms from recurring or that even with taking prescribed medications and following other therapy regimens, your condition remains disabling
It’s also important that you and your physician attempt to collect the right medical records to meet the criteria for a listed condition. That may mean undergoing other diagnostic tests or procedures to satisfy SSA criteria.
Qualifying for SSD with Dizziness without meeting a Blue Book Condition
If your dizziness is not caused by a condition that is included in the SSA’s Blue Book but still severely limits you and your ability to hold a job, then you may still qualify for SSD benefits, though you’ll need to do so in one of two ways. Either you will need to:
- prove your condition is as severely limiting as another that is listed in the Blue Book
- prove you meet the requirements for a “medical vocational allowance”, which means that although your medical condition doesn't match or equal any condition listed, it is still disabling and prevents you from maintaining gainful employment as a result.
Getting Help for Your Dizziness SSD Application
Building a strong disability claim and compiling the necessary documentation can be challenging, especially if your medical condition is not among those in the SSA’s Blue Book. To support any claim for disability benefits – based on a listed condition or not – you’ll need to work closely with your doctor to collect the required medical documentation. You should also consider the benefits of seeking help from a Social Security advocate or disability attorney, as they can help you put together as strong an application as possible, and may potentially shorten your wait for a determination on your eligibility as well.