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POTS Syndrome and Disability

What is POTS?

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a chronic condition that can seriously affect the quality of life of those with this diagnosis. The autonomic nervous system stops functioning properly causing an inability for the individual’s body to be able to balance blood pressure and heart rate.

This condition is known as orthostatic intolerance. Common symptoms of POTS include, but are not limited to tachycardia, an inability to exercise, difficulty in concentrating, chronic headaches, and extreme fatigue. Even standing for a small duration can cause the heart rate to increase dramatically. So, most people with the condition are unable to engage in any significant amount of physical activity.
Pots Syndrome and Disability
The most common types of POTS are:

  • Neuropathic POTS- As the name suggests, it is a nerve related disease. It is caused by the loss of nerve supply leading to poor muscles of the blood vessels especially in the legs and core.
  • Hyperadrenergic POTS– The term hyperadrenergic refers to ‘’high adrenaline.” Patients face high levels of nor epinephrine in their blood as a result of an overactive sympathetic nervous system. It results in high blood pressure and increased heart rate while standing.
  • Low Blood Volume POTS-Reduced blood volume can lead to this form of POTS. Some of the symptoms caused by low blood volume can be similar to those of neuropathic and hyper adrenergic types.

POTS Syndrome and Disability

  • The Blue Book does not have any precise listing for dysautonomia. However, you can file a claim based on similar symptoms that are listed for different disorders. Ultimately, the SSA tends to grant disability benefits if a person is physically not able to perform his/her job. The severity of your symptoms, and its impact on your life are something that can help in seeking disability benefits.
  • Dysautonomia can have many symptoms, so your documentation should include extensive test results. Testing may include a tilt table test which determines the blood pressure and heart rate fluctuations because of changes in body position. Other tests may be ordered such as digestive system testing, autonomic breathing test, and blood and urine testing for potential causes, etc.
  • The medical documentation from all the testing, results and reports, and other lab work should be provided to SSA. Dysautonomia is not listed as a Compassionate Allowances Condition by the SSA which means it does not qualify for automatic approval. The specific symptoms based on the type and severity of the patient’s dysautonomia will be evaluated.

Can You Get Disability for POTS?

Qualifying for disability benefits due to POTS is a matter of proving that the individual has impairment significant enough to make it impossible for them to effectively maintain employment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will examine the symptoms that a patient is experiencing because of POTS. This will be done to determine if the individual is eligible for disability payments.
POTS Disability Benefits

  • Patients with POTS should be sure to have all their symptoms verified and recorded by a licensed medical professional. This is essential to increase the possibility of being approved for disability payments.
  • The SSA will try to find a position appropriate for an individual with POTS before approving their disability benefits. A combination of the academic background of the individual, past employment experience, and physical abilities will be examined. These details will be evaluated to determine whether there is a job that the person can reasonably be expected to do.
  • Dealing with the debilitating symptoms of POTS can be difficult. Paying bills becomes extremely difficult for the applicant and his/her family members too. Fortunately, allowing the SSA to review a disability claim can result in the approval for disability benefits.
  • Keeping accurate medical records is essential to proving your case and increasing the chances of approval. Seeking out medical professionals to complete exams will help to pinpoint symptoms that can be attributed to POTS.

How Can You Get Disability Benefits For POTS?

You will need to complete the disability benefits application and submit it to the SSA at your local social security office or by completing an online application. There are many forms that must be completed during the application process. You also need to submit supporting medical and employment documents to prove your inability to work.

Any mistake in the application process can result in denial. Hence, it is advisable to be very careful when filing your application.