If your postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is making it difficult or impossible for you to work, you may qualify for disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While POTS is not usually serious enough to prevent working, some people may suffer from complications that affect their ability to hold down a normal job and pay their bills.
At Berger and Green, our attorneys understand how to get Social Security Disability (SSD) for POTS. We can help you file an application and offer our advice based on our years of experience in disability cases. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) already denied your claim, we can help you request an appeals hearing and represent your best interests during this process. With our guidance, most of our qualifying clients receive approval for benefits during their appeals hearing. Call our Pittsburgh office at 412-661-1400 for a free case review today.
How Can I Prove POTS Prevents Me From Working?
To qualify for benefits from the SSA, you must suffer from a total, long-term disability. To prove you suffer from this type of impairment, you must:
- Meet the criteria under one of the medical conditions in the Blue Book of impairment listings; or
- Have a functional capacity that prevents you from working at any job.
The easiest way to show you have a qualifying impairment is by providing medical documentation to prove you meet the criteria outlined in the SSA’s impairment listings. While there is not an entry specifically for POTS, severe symptoms of the condition may qualify under one of the listings in Section 4.00 – Cardiovascular System. You could also qualify based on a secondary health condition, if it plays a role in preventing you from working.
If you are not sure you suffer from a total disability or need help determining if you qualify for benefits, we can help you understand the criteria. Call us today for guidance with your claim.
Can I Still Get Disability for POTS If I Do Not Meet Any Blue Book Criteria?
POTS can make it difficult to sit and stand repeatedly, or even bend over. Some basic household chores or simple work tasks can lead to fainting, a racing heart, and fatigue. If you find it difficult to work any job, you may qualify for disability benefits based on your symptoms.
Meeting the criteria under an impairment listing is the easiest way to get the benefits you need, but you may also qualify based on your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is a statement of your ability to perform a number of work-related and everyday tasks, including sitting, standing, lifting, pushing, pulling, and working with your hands. If you cannot work because of your POTS symptoms, side effects of your medications, or a combination of several health conditions, you will likely qualify for benefits based on your RFC.
It is helpful if a doctor completes an RFC worksheet that documents your abilities and impairments. This could be:
- Your general practitioner; or
- A specialist you see.
On this worksheet, they assess what type of activities you can do, how often, and for how long. If your RFC shows you cannot work a job for normal hours, you will most likely qualify for disability benefits. Because your medical records play an essential role in this review, it is paramount you work with your doctor and ensure all proper documentation, test results, and scans are in your medical files.
Are There Other Qualifications I Must Meet to Get Disability Benefits?
In addition to proving you meet the SSA’s definition of disabled, you need to meet a number of technical qualifications to receive approval for SSDI or SSI benefits. Each program has its own criteria.
Requirements for SSDI
SSDI has a cut-off for earned income. If you make above the monthly limit, known as the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit, you will not qualify for benefits. This program is not need-based, but earning more than this limit through working means you do not suffer from total disability. You will also need to have worked long enough to earn the minimum number of work credits required to qualify. The number of work credits necessary depends on your age.
Qualifications for SSI
SSI offers extra money for those who need it the most. As a need-based program, it places strict limits on your monthly income. This includes both earned and unearned income, including all investments. You also cannot have more than the maximum amount of qualifying assets. These limits change annually. There is no work credit requirement for SSI, however, so you may qualify even if you never worked.
How Can I Appeal the SSA’s Decision on My Claim?
The SSA denies a large number of initial claims. If you received a letter of denial, it is important not to panic or lose hope. Many people can overturn their denial through the appeals process. Call us and let us help you fight for approval of the benefits you need and deserve. We only have a limited time to request an appeals hearing, so call us as soon as possible.
We provide guidance throughout the appeal process, from requesting your hearing in front of an administrative law judge and determining the cause of your denial, to collecting evidence to prove you qualify and representing you at the hearing. In most cases, we can help qualifying clients get the approval they deserve during their hearing. However, sometimes it is necessary to continue through more steps of the appeals process in appropriate cases.
How Can I Talk to Someone in Pittsburgh About My Disability Claim?
The team from Berger and Green has the knowledge and skill to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you received a denial from the SSA, we will aggressively fight for your benefits during the appeals process. You can reach our Pittsburgh-area office at 412-661-1400. We offer free case evaluations, and handle all SSD appeals on a contingency basis.