An AVM is a group of blood vessels that didn’t form properly and have become intertwined, which impedes the blood flow. When they’re cut, these veins and arteries tend to bleed faster than normal veins due to the pressure of being tangled together.

The most common place for an AVM is in the brain. The AVM circumvents the brain tissue and reroutes the flow of blood between the arteries and the veins. This results in the arteries delivering less oxygen to the brain, and the veins returning blood with less oxygen to the heart. They can happen anywhere in the brain. Less than one percent of the U.S. population has an AVM.

A brain AVM occurs as a baby is developing inside the mother’s womb. It is not believed to be caused by genetics, but there are certain risk factors that raise the odds of having one. Females are less likely than males to have an AVM.

Most brain AVM symptoms occur before the age of 50. After that, an AVM tends to stabilize. Women may notice symptoms of an AVM during pregnancy due to increased blood flow.

Usually, there are no symptoms until the AVM ruptures. Symptoms may include any of the following.

  • Sudden severe headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • A pulsation in your head
  • Seizures
  • Fainting
  • Speech problems
  • Inability to understand other people
  • Weakness, numbness or paralysis in extremities
  • A swooshing noise that can be heard with a stethoscope

Seizures and bleeding within the brain might cause a stroke or brain damage, which could result in permanent paralysis as well as loss of memory, speech and vision. The severity of these conditions depends on the location of the AVM.

Getting SSDI for Arteriovenous Malformation

An AVM can disrupt your life by causing wide mood swings and making you unable to carry on with your employment. A stroke caused by an AVM can partially or completely immobilize you. If you or a loved one is suffering the symptoms of a brain AVM, you may qualify for financial aid from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

To qualify for SSDI, you must have a major health condition that has lasted for at least one calendar year and has rendered you unfit to continue your employment. You must have worked previously and earned enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance.

If you apply for SSDI, the first thing the Social Security Administration will do is check to see if your condition is on their list of impairments. This is a listing of conditions and side effects that the SSA deems to be automatically disabling. Should your condition not be on the impairment list, the SSA will use a medical vocational allowance to determine if you are able to work. While AVMs are not on the list, you may qualify for SSDI if you had seizures that resulted in a loss of neurological functions.

If your condition does not meet the SSA’s requirements, you could still be eligible for SSDI assistance. To qualify, you must supply medical records documenting that you would be unable to continue your past employment or current employment and that you are unable to retrain for a new career. Older claimants have a better chance of proving this.

Getting Help from an Attorney

If you or a loved one has already petitioned the Social Security Administration for benefits, you may have already been denied assistance. In that case, you should find a qualified disability attorney to help you file an appeal. Claimants with legal representation are more likely to have the original decision overturned.

To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call us at (215) 464-7200 or email the attorneys of Chermol & Fishman, LLC. The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.