Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, is a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the limbs and other parts of the body. Eventually, this buildup limits the amount of blood that flows through the arteries and can increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Under some circumstances, the Social Security Administration recognizes PAD as a disabling disease, but not everyone who receives a diagnosis of PAD qualifies for disability benefits. Those who receive a PAD diagnosis may need to make significant lifestyle changes to manage their disease, but a change of lifestyle is not a disability. To receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must show that the disease makes it impossible for you to be employed in any type of work, even with treatment.
The following are necessary for you to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits for PAD:
- A doctor must diagnose the disease. He or she must document your diagnosis and treatment, including how you respond to any medication or lifestyle changes that have been prescribed.
- You must have at least three months of documented treatment. If there has not been enough time for a treatment to work, the Social Security Administration may require documentation of extended treatment before approving benefits.
- You must have images from a Doppler study (ultrasound) or angiogram.
- You experience muscle pain during exercise or when you walk that goes away when you rest, along with:
- A resting ankle-brachial index of less than 0.5, or
- A resting toe-brachial index of less than 0.4, or
- Resting toe systolic blood pressure lower than 30 mm Hg, or
- A drop in systolic blood pressure at the ankle during exercise that is at least 50 percent below the level before exercise and requires at least 10 minutes to return to the pre-exercise level.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of PAD and are no longer able to work, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If the thought of dealing with all of that paperwork and gathering the necessary documentation to prove your disability seems overwhelming, the Boston Social Security disability lawyers at Keefe Disability Law would be happy to help you.
Attorney John Keefe’s book The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability might answer some of your questions. If you’d like to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case, call us toll free at 888-904-6847.