According to the CDC, nearly half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure (also called hypertension). Hypertension is defined as having a systolic blood pressure greater than 130 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80 mm Hg. Of those that have high blood pressure, only 1 in 4 have it under control. Having hypertension can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke which are leading causes of death in the U.S.
SSA Doesn't Have a Specific Listing for High Blood Pressure
Based on this data alone, you can assume that someone cannot get Social Security disability benefits just by having high blood pressure. In fact, there is no longer a specific disability listing for high blood pressure. Whether or not a claimant can get disability benefits for high blood pressure depends instead on what damage the condition has caused.
While it is unlikely that high blood pressure will keep someone from working, severe hypertension can lead to other chronic conditions that can greatly affect a person’s way of life and ability to work.
Hypertension-Related Damage Can Qualify You for Benefits
Prolonged and untreated hypertension can cause arterial damage that affects the heart. Disability listing 3.09 covers chronic pulmonary hypertension. To receive Social Security benefits for this condition you must provide clinical evidence of cor pulmonale that documents right side heart failure.
Another outcome of severe hypertension is vision damage. If a claimant has vision damage due to high blood pressure, the SSA will evaluate the condition under the listing for low vision and blindness. Hypertension can also lead to stroke. If a person has suffered a stroke due to hypertension, then their claim will be evaluated under disability listing 11.04 for stroke victims.
Our Social Security Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you are seeking disability benefits based on high blood pressure, you should consult our experienced Social Security attorneys for help. Because this condition is so common, it is incredibly difficult to prove that the condition is severe enough to warrant receipt of disability benefits, and many claims will be denied. Since high blood pressure is not itself listed in the Blue Book, a decision will weigh heavily on the opinion of the claimant’s doctor.
Most likely, the SSA will make the decision based on Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). In order to get a fair disability determination, you must have an accurate (RFC) assessment. Your best shot at winning is with an experienced attorney. At Keller & Keller, our team of disability attorneys will help you build a strong application. Contact us today for a free consultation.