Dysautonomia is a general term used to describe an assortment of medical diseases and disorders related to the autonomic nervous system. Responsible for controlling the body’s involuntary functions, the system regulates respiration, temperature, digestion and heart rate. Adverse medical conditions associated with autonomic nerve disorders include orthostatic high blood pressure, inappropriate sinus tachycardia and neurocardiogenic syncope. The effects of dysautonomia vary between individuals based on the specific disease and its severity. The disorder can be a primary condition or occur due to the presence of another disease like diabetes. It is estimated that more than 1 million people in the United States are afflicted with the disorder.
What is Dysautonomia?
Although the exact cause of the condition is unknown, contributing factors are believed to include heredity, viral illnesses, autoimmune diseases and physical trauma to the brain or spinal cord. People with dysautonomia may experience debilitating symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and vertigo as well as nerve pain, excessive fatigue and rapid or slow heart rates. Other signs of the condition include panic and anxiety not related to a psychological issue. The disease is difficult to diagnose because many of the signs and symptoms overlap with other medical conditions. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis often requires the collaborative effort of several specialists.
While some individuals experience mild symptoms, others afflicted with the disease can be incapacitated by their symptoms. In serious cases, death can result from acute respiratory failure, an abnormal heart rate and a malfunction of the digestive system. Because there is no cure for dysautonomia, the treatment generally consists of various medications and therapies prescribed to ease the symptoms.
Qualifying for Disability
Whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits depends upon the information contained within your medical records. This information includes the history of treatment documented by your physician as well as the results of blood work and tests like CT scans, MRIs and x-rays. The documents must also contain details on your response to medications and physical therapy. This is important, as there is no single entry in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book for dysautonomia.
The severity and totality of your disabilities will determine your eligibility for benefits. Because the disorder afflicts specific systems, you should file your claim using the Blue Book section that best describes your symptoms. These can include Section 4.00 Cardiovascular System, Section 5.00 Digestive System or Section 11.00 Neurological. If you do not qualify according to the criteria contained in these sections, the totality of your symptoms may still entitle you to a medical-vocational allowance. The SSA will review your records and determine whether your dysautonomia prevents you from acquiring and performing gainful employment.
Getting Help from an Attorney
Filing a disability claim for dysautonomia can be challenging since there is no single category under which to file. As a result, you should retain the services of an experienced SSA disability claims attorney. As your legal advocate, we can work closely with your doctor to compile the necessary documentation to support your application and help you fill out any required forms. Having an SSA disability lawyer who is familiar with the intricacies of the claims process can increase your chances of approval. If you have been denied benefits, schedule an appointment to discuss your right to an appeal. You may still be able to receive benefits. During this difficult time, it is important that you have someone on your side committed to helping you receive the benefits you need to remain financially independent.