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Hypertension…is it disabling?

Hypertension is a common medical condition among most Americans. In fact, one in every four Americans suffers from hypertension. The condition is common and also easily treated for most through medications. However, for certain individuals, hypertension can be an extremely debilitating condition, especially if left untreated. For those who may not know, hypertension is a medical condition where your blood pressure is very high. Conversely, hypotension is a condition where your blood pressure runs too low. In cases of hypertension, when your blood pressure is high that means there is extra force being pushed against the walls of your blood vessels. Some of the most common symptoms related to hypertension include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, blurry vision, and even headaches. While hypertension is a common condition it is most often a result of or related to another condition such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, anemia, etc. It is vitally important to receive treatment for your hypertension as having sustained high blood pressure could cause other conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, or even vision loss.

If you are suffering from hypertension, and your symptoms are related to hypertension and impacting your ability to work, you should consider applying for social security disability benefits. The social security disability program is a federally mandated insurance program set in place to assist people who are no longer able to work due to a medical condition. Of course, there is an age limit to disability benefits. Once you reach your full retirement age, either 66 or 67, you will no longer be eligible for disability and would simply need to file for retirement benefits. However, assuming you are not of retirement age, and your hypertension is causing symptoms preventing you from performing work in any capacity, the disability program may be the right program for you.

When applying for social security disability benefits the first thing to know is that these benefits are not meant to provide short-term relief. They are set in place to assist individuals who are out of work or expected to be out of work for a minimum of twelve months due to their medical condition. This twelve-month durational requirement can sometimes be difficult to meet. In some cases, you may be unable to work due to your hypertension. But after seeing your cardiologist or another medical professional for a few months your hypertension has now become controlled and you are able to return to work. If that is the case you would not meet the twelve-month durational requirement. Again, the social security disability program requires proof that your medical condition is expected to prevent you from working for a minimum of twelve months.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been treated with your medical provider, and your hypertension remains uncontrolled you would then consider this program as a possibility for you. If you have questions about whether you should be applying for this program at the LaBovick Law Group we provide a free consultation to our clients. The disability program is a very complex and not very well understood program. We are more than happy to discuss a situation with a client to determine if disability is the right path or some other type of program. What we don’t want to happen is that you apply for disability benefits, go through the lengthy process, only to learn a significant time later that you do not qualify. If you call us at (561) 625-8400 we will let you know upfront whether you have a good chance of winning a disability claim or if another alternative should be pursued.

Once a decision has been made to pursue disability benefits, the first step would be to file a claim or application. This can be done online or over the phone. The preferable method is online as it allows you to start and stop the application as needed as well as provide you a receipt of the application. Once your claim has been submitted social security will then review your claim to ensure you meet the technical requirements of the program. Meaning, are you even eligible? To determine eligibility social security will review your earnings record for the past 10 years. As long as you have worked and paid taxes into the social security system for the past five out of ten years, you will likely have disability insurance coverage. Assuming you have disability insurance coverage, social security will then review your claim to see if you meet the definition of disability. To prove you meet social security’s disability definition you must show you suffer from a severe medical condition that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity for a minimum of twelve months, or that your condition is expected to result in death. Sounds easy right? Well…maybe not.

To determine if you qualify under this definition, social security follows a five-step sequential evaluation process. The first step in the process is to make sure you are not currently working, engaging in substantial gainful activity. The second step is to confirm you suffer from a severe medical condition that poses more than a minimal impact upon your ability to work. The third step considers whether your condition meets a list of conditions social security has deemed so severe as to automatically find you disabled. Most people do not meet a listing and will then have their functional capacity or ability determined. Once social security determines what you are functionally capable of doing in spite of your medical conditions they will then consider whether your limitations allow you to perform the work you have done in the past fifteen years. If you are unable to perform your past relevant work then the last and final step in the evaluation is determining whether there is any other work you could perform in the national economy with your functional limitations. If you are found disabled after this evaluation, social security will then determine your monthly benefit along with your Medicare health insurance availability.

If all of this sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Navigating the intricacies of Social Security Disability can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with severe medical conditions. This is where a Social Security Disability Lawyer can be invaluable. If you are considering applying for disability benefits, call us at the LaBovick Law Group for your free consultation. We have experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers ready to assist you.

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