Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can cause enormous discomfort as well as dangerously low blood pressure in the foot. Because these symptoms occur after walking, it may qualify you for SSDI benefits. The plaque building up in the body makes it difficult for blood to flow to the extremities but has also been known to cause bigger problems in the kidneys, brain, and stomach. Consider the following facts about how you’ll be evaluated.
What Does It Take?
Patients need to prove they meet the criteria for PAD for automatic qualification. The official rules state you need to have fatigue or pain after walking or standing, as well as low blood pressure. You’ll need to meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Resting blood pressure ratio in your ankles and arms less than .5.
- Resting blood pressure ratio in your toes less than 30 mm Hg (a common way to measure pressure).
- Blood pressure needs to decrease by at least half after movement, and take at least 10 minutes to return to pre-exercise levels.
How Does Social Security Disability decide?
SSDI officials scrutinize your medical records to see if you meet the criteria and follow certain guidelines when evaluating the tests. For example, the doctor will likely take two blood pressure readings in the foot, and SSDI will use the higher measurement to make their ruling. They’ll look at X-rays, blood vessel movement, and tracings recordings (if available). Patients are highly encouraged to include everything in their medical history to make it easier for decision-makers to make their rulings.
Peripheral arterial disease may also require additional testing if your ratio is between .5 and .8. Social Security Disability will pay for the tests unless patients have a preexisting condition that explains their variations. This may include walking on a treadmill at an incline, which means you’ll need pre-approval from the doctor to perform these tests.