The Social Security Disability
Experts Since 1984

Can You Get SSDI or SSI for High Blood Pressure?

The heart plays a crucial role in the functioning of the human body. When someone develops high blood pressure from poor diet, smoking, medication, or a medical condition, adverse symptoms can occur. These symptoms can usually be managed through drug treatment and lifestyle changes. However, if symptoms worsen and treatment proves ineffective, high blood pressure may hinder your ability to work.

This leads many people to ask, “Can you get Social Security Disability for high blood pressure?” Fortunately, yes, individuals with high blood pressure whose symptoms limit their work capabilities can obtain disability benefits. However, simply experiencing serious symptoms does not guarantee disability claim approval.
To qualify for benefits with high blood pressure, a claimant must demonstrate how their symptoms prevent them from working. This includes performing various job-related tasks, such as lifting, walking, understanding and following instructions, and standing for long periods.

Continue reading to learn more about seeking disability benefits when suffering from the side effects of high blood pressure.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Most people with elevated blood pressure do not experience symptoms, even when readings reach dangerously high levels. However, for some individuals, symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Seizures

If any of these symptoms occur, it’s very possible that the patient is already in hypertensive crisis. A hypertensive crisis can result in life-threatening complications.

If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can cause irreversible harm to vital organs, such as the heart, kidneys, brain, and eyes. Organ damage can occur even without hypertensive crisis, so the condition should always be treated in its early stages.

What Constitutes High Blood Pressure?

  • Normal blood pressure: Blood pressure is lower than 120/80 mm Hg.
  • Elevated blood pressure: The top number ranges from 120 to 129 mm Hg and the bottom number is below 80 mm Hg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension. The top number ranges from 130 to 139 mm Hg or the bottom number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension. The top number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the bottom number is 90 mm Hg or higher.

There are two main types of high blood pressure.

  • Primary hypertension: Primary hypertension, or essential hypertension, is a condition where there is no specific cause for the condition. This type of high blood pressure develops slowly over a long period of time.
  • Secondary hypertension: Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition, such as heart disease. It typically occurs suddenly and results in higher blood pressure readings compared to primary hypertension.

Simply having high blood pressure is not usually enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, high blood pressure often coincides with other medical conditions that do meet disability criteria.

Qualifying for Disability Benefits With High Blood Pressure

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book outlines qualifying conditions for disability benefits. Hypertension is typically listed as a symptom, complication, or underlying factor of other conditions. However, the SSA clarifies its evaluation under Section 4.00, Cardiovascular System disorders, as follows:

“Because hypertension (high blood pressure) generally causes disability through its effects on other body systems, we will evaluate it by reference to the specific body system(s) affected (heart, brain, kidneys, or eyes) when we consider its effects under the listings. We will also consider any limitations imposed by your hypertension when we assess your residual functional capacity.”

High blood pressure may not qualify a claimant for Social Security Disability without accompanying complications. However, when determining eligibility, the SSA cares most about whether or not an impairment prevents a claimant from working. Therefore, individuals whose conditions don’t meet or equal a listing in the Blue Book can still qualify for benefits under a medical-vocational allowance.

Medical-Vocational Allowance

The SSA recognizes the complex interplay between an individual’s health and their ability to work. Medical-vocational allowances offer a pathway to benefits for those who might not qualify based on medical criteria alone.

A medical-vocational allowance may be granted if a condition does not meet the criteria of any listed impairment, but still prevents a claimant from working.

To qualify for a medical-vocational allowance, a claimant must undergo a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. This helps determine what they can do despite their condition. The RFC assessment will take into account their age, education, work history, transferable job skills, and disability.

If it’s determined the claimant’s condition prevents them from working and adjusting to any new type of work, they will be granted benefits.

Age and education also play a role in determining whether a claimant can be expected to learn new job skills. For example, an individual over 55 with limited job prospects may be more likely to qualify for a medical-vocational allowance than someone younger.

The SSA’s Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for disability benefits, claimants must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Their condition prevents them from performing Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
  • Their condition has or is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death
  • Their condition meets or equals a disability listing in severity, OR the claimant qualifies for a medical-vocational allowance

When filing a claim, it’s essential to provide substantial medical evidence to the SSA. This can include doctors’ notes, records of all blood pressure readings, examinations, laboratory tests, results of stress tests, prescribed treatments and resulting outcomes, etc.

Given the complexity of filing for disability, it’s wise to consult a qualified disability lawyer. At Peña & Bromberg, we will ensure you’re presenting your application with the proper supporting evidence.

Why Hire an Attorney

When asking, “Can you get Social Security for high blood pressure?” the answer may not be straightforward. High blood pressure can have numerous effects on the body.

It’s crucial to identify the symptoms that hinder your ability to work. It’s also necessary to identify whether the hypertension is the result of an underlying condition. Some people struggle with multiple impairments that separately would not impact their ability to work, but do so when combined.

Filing a claim can be overwhelming if you are not familiar with the SSA’s review process. Working with an experienced disability lawyer can help claimants file appropriately and increase their chances of receiving benefits.

Can You Receive SSI & SSDI for High Blood Pressure?

Can you get SSI for high blood pressure?

If your high blood pressure causes symptoms that leave you unable to work, you may be eligible for (Supplemental Security Income) SSI. However, to qualify for SSI, you must meet the SSA’s strict eligibility requirements. These include income and asset limits, as well as disability criteria.

Can you get SSDI for high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a disability for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if you’re unable to work due to your condition. You must meet the SSA’s work history and disability requirements to be eligible for SSDI.

Contact Us

At Peña & Bromberg, we understand the challenges involved when securing SSDI or SSI for high blood pressure. Our experienced disability attorneys are skilled at navigating the intricate claims process. By working with us, claimants gain access to a wealth of knowledge about Social Security Disability benefits.

Our firm is committed to minimizing your stress and maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome. Contact us for a free consultation. Let us help you take the first step towards securing the benefits you deserve. We’ll ensure your case is presented with the utmost care and precision.

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