If your blood pressure is chronically above 140/90, you have high blood pressure. High blood pressure 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. If your high blood pressure is a symptom of one of these condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
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.
Is High Blood Pressure a Disability?
The SSA does not consider high blood pressure a disability. There is no longer a disability listing for high blood pressure in the SSA’s list of impairments that qualifies someone for Social Security disability benefits.
Just because the SSA doesn’t consider a disability, it doesn’t mean that someone with high blood pressure can’t qualify for disability.
Someone with high blood pressure can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA will evaluate your disability claim on how your high blood pressure effects the other parts of your body.
If you are unable to work for at least 12 months because of the effects of high blood pressure, the SSA will consider you disabled and you will be able to qualify for disability.
Can You Get Disability for High Blood Pressure and Diabetes?
Both diabetes and high blood pressure can develop into serious medical conditions that prevent you from working your current job. You can typically control high blood pressure by making lifestyle changes combined with prescription medications. You may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if you have not worked for 12 consecutive months and your medical records demonstrate that suffering from high blood pressure has caused one or more serious diseases.
Also referred to as hypertension, high blood pressure develops when the force required to move blood through the body reaches a dangerous level. Any measurement over 140/90 constitutes high blood pressure, which can contribute to more serious medical conditions such as stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease.
In 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) removed endocrine disorders that include diabetes from its listing of eligible medical conditions for disability benefits. Although you cannot qualify for disability benefits under a Blue Book listing for disabilities, you might be eligible for financial assistance if you meet another listing in the medical guide used by the SSA to review disability claims.
For example, you might qualify for disability benefits under Section 11.14, which describes eligibility for applicants that suffer from peripheral neuropathy. Other healthcare complications resulting from diabetes include amputation and/or cardiovascular disease.
Can you get disability for high blood pressure and diabetes? It depends on the seriousness of your symptoms and whether the symptoms have kept you out of work for 12 consecutive months.
How to Apply with High Blood Pressure
If your high blood pressure, which is referred to as hypertension in the medical community, 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. Find out more by filling out a free evaluation form today.
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.