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Dysautonomia And Disability: Getting Approved For Benefits

Published on March 1st, 2024

Dysautonomia is a complex condition that affects the autonomic nervous system, impacting up to 70 million people worldwide. This disorder can manifest in various forms and severity levels, affecting vital functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature control.

Its impact on daily life can be significant, sometimes severe enough that it can prevent a person from working or caring for themselves.

Man suffering from breathing problem

What Is Dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia refers to a group of medical conditions that result in a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This system controls many autonomic functions of the body, like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation. Dysautonomia can manifest in various forms, such as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and or other conditions related to the nervous system.

What Causes Dysautonomia?

The causes of dysautonomia vary and can be complex. In some cases, it may be due to genetic factors, where a person inherits a predisposition to the condition.

Other times, it can develop as a result of another disease or condition that damages the autonomic nervous system. This includes conditions like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or Parkinson’s disease. Injuries to the autonomic nerves can also lead to dysautonomia.

Unfortunately and in many instances, the exact cause of dysautonomia remains unknown. Researchers are still working to understand all the factors that can lead to the development of this condition. What is known about this condition is how disabling it can be. As a result, those who are affected by dysautonomia can seek benefits to make their lives a little easier.

Symptoms of Dysautonomia

The symptoms of dysautonomia can vary widely from person to person and can be quite unpredictable. These symptoms can include:

  • Rapid or Slow Heart Rate: A person’s heartbeat can be unusually fast or slow.
  • Extreme Fatigue: A profound sense of tiredness that isn’t relieved by rest.
  • Dizziness and Fainting Spells: These can occur suddenly and can make activities like driving or operating machinery dangerous.
  • Digestive Issues: Problems with digestion can lead to discomfort and nutritional issues.
  • Temperature Regulation Problems: Difficulty in maintaining a stable body temperature.
  • Difficulty with Visual Focus: Challenges in focusing the eyes, which can impact daily tasks like reading or driving.

One or more of these symptoms can make daily activities and maintaining regular employment challenging, as they can appear suddenly and without warning. The severity of the symptoms can also fluctuate, adding to the unpredictability of the condition.

How Does Dysautonomia Affect Your Ability To Work?

Dysautonomia affects people’s work lives differently. Some can still work if they change things like their work hours or where they work.

These changes help them handle symptoms better. But for others, symptoms can make a person unable to perform their assigned duties at work. Feeling dizzy, having an uneven heartbeat, and always being tired can make working impossible.

When dysautonomia affects someone this much, they might need to think about applying for Social Security disability benefits. Whether to apply depends on how much the condition changes their daily life and work.

Is Dysautonomia A Disability?

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), Dysautonomia can be considered a disability under certain circumstances. The SSA evaluates claims based on the severity of the condition, how long a person has been experiencing it, and how it limits an individual’s ability to perform substantial gainful activity.

Qualifying For Benefits

To improve your SSDI application for Dysautonomia, it’s important to gather detailed medical evidence:

  • Medical Records: These should include all the information about your diagnosis and symptoms. This shows how Dysautonomia affects you.
  • Test Results: Results from heart rate monitoring are crucial, particularly for conditions like POTS and Neurocardiogenic Syncope, where heart rate changes a lot.
  • Treatment Information: Keep a record of all the treatments you’ve had. This includes medicines, therapies, and other steps you’ve taken, along with how well they worked.
  • Doctor’s Statements: Get detailed notes from your doctors about how Dysautonomia affects your everyday life and activities, especially focusing on symptoms like fatigue and dizziness.
  • Other Related Conditions: If you also have conditions like Multiple System Atrophy or Pure Autonomic Failure, include this information as it can strengthen your case.
  • Work History: Write down how Dysautonomia has made it hard for you to do your job. This is important for the SSA when they look at your claim.

Remember, the SSA uses the Blue Book for guidelines. Make sure your medical information matches what they are looking for in the Blue Book. This can drastically help your chances of getting disability benefits.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Disability Attorney

Navigating the SSDI application process for Dysautonomia can be challenging. At Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates, Ltd., we understand the complexities of such conditions and can provide expert guidance. Call us at (312) 431-1000 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Let’s explore the best ways to secure the benefits you need.

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