Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits For Dysautonomia

Law Blog

Dysautonomia isn't the term used to describe several different disorders that are caused by the malfunction of your autonomic nervous system that controls many different things in your body, including your heart rate, your blood pressure, your body temperature, and more. Some of the symptoms of dysautonomia can be merely frustrating and annoying — while others can be quite disabling. 

Here's what you need to know about filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to dysautonomia.

There's no specific disability category for dysautonomia.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a "Listing of Impairments," which is a catalog of conditions that are considered severe enough to be disabling. There's no such listing for dysautonomia, but that doesn't mean that you can't make a successful claim for benefits. You simply have to convince SSA that your condition is equivalent in its severity to something that does appear on the list.

This makes it extremely important to list off all of the symptoms of dysautonomia that you have, such as:

  • The inability to sit or stand for long periods without getting faint
  • Dizziness, fainting, or vertigo
  • Frequent falls or balance problems
  • Low blood pressure that can cause fainting or other problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems, nausea, and vomiting
  • Tachycardia or other causes of chest pain and a rapid heart rate
  • Fatigue, tremors, and physical weakness
  • Anxiety, migraines, and trouble sleeping
  • Breathing difficulties
  • The inability to regulate your body temperature

Listing all of your symptoms and the frequency with which they occur can help you better establish both the severity of your condition and the limitations you experience working or even performing your regular daily activities.

It's important to understand SSA's duration requirement for disability benefits.

One of the requirements for a condition to be considered disabling under SSA's rules is that the condition has to persist, despite treatment, for 12 consecutive months or longer (or be expected to do so). That makes it much harder to get approved for benefits if your condition has only recently developed or you haven't followed your doctor's course of treatment.

Follow up with your doctors regularly so that you can both use your doctors' notes to document the persistence nature of your medical problems and to show SSA that you are doing everything in your power to combat the problem. 

Even valid disability claims can be denied.

No matter how disabling your dysautonomia is, your claim for SSA benefits can be denied. In fact, the vast majority of claims are denied when they're first filed. If your claim is denied, however, you do have appeal rights. A Social Security attorney, like Todd East Attorney at Law, can assess your claim for weaknesses and help you overcome SSA's objections.


24 January 2020