Determining Your Eligibility for SSDI Benefits if You Have Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, occurs when plaque builds up in arteries in the limbs (usually the legs) and other areas. This plaque limits the flow of blood, sometimes causing pain or numbness and increasing the risk for infection. In severe cases, PAD can lead to gangrene, which frequently results in amputation.
PAD also increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. According to some estimates, as many as one-third of patients who receive a diagnosis of PAD experience blood clots in the legs.
The Social Security Administration will most likely take five general factors into consideration when determining whether you qualify for SSDI:
Are you able to work? Generally speaking, if you earn more than $1,010 a month as an employee, you are disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Have you been given a diagnosis of PAD? Are there Doppler studies or angiographic findings that support your diagnosis? Do you suffer from pain in the calf or thigh after walking that goes away when resting? Do you have other significant symptoms, including at least one of the following?
- An ankle/brachial systolic blood pressure ratio of less than 0.50 when at rest
- A toe/brachial systolic blood pressure ratio of less than 0.40 when at rest
- A toe systolic pressure of less than 30 mm Hg when at rest
- A decrease in systolic blood pressure at the ankle during exercise of 50 percent or more in comparison with pre-exercise levels that requires at least 10 minutes to return to pre-exercise level
How severe is your peripheral arterial disease disability? Your PAD must be severe enough to limit your capacity to perform basic workplace activities. For instance, your reviewer will look for evidence that your disability affects your ability to function physically, communicate with others, follow directions, and handle changes in the work environment.
Can you do any job that you’ve held in the past, despite your PAD? If you are able to do any type of work that you performed in the past, your disability benefits will be denied.
Is there any other type of work you can do? The SSA will review your work experience, education, age, and overall health to determine if you are capable of holding a job. If you are younger than 50 and can lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit for six hours and stand for two hours in an eight-hour workday, you may be considered capable of sedentary work.
If a doctor has told you that you have PAD and you are no longer able to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, many people get turned down even when they do qualify. A Boston Social Security disability lawyer can increase your chances of being approved for SSDI benefits. The attorney can assist with paperwork and gather the necessary documentation to prove your disability.
Learn more in disability attorney John Keefe’s book Unlocking the Mystery – The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process. To discuss your PAD disability case, contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.