Is POTS A Disability?

POTS Disability

Yes, POTS can be considered a disability if it meets the eligibility criteria outlined in the Blue Book of the SSA. However, POTS can be associated with various symptoms impairing a person’s ability to engage in certain activities or work. To be eligible for disability benefits, your medical condition must prevent you from working for at least 12 months or more.  

The severity of symptoms and their impact on an individual’s life can vary significantly with POTS. At times, support or accommodations may be necessary for those with POTS to manage their symptoms and fully participate in society.

What Is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a long-term condition that causes an abnormal rise in heart rate when standing up. People with POTS may experience dizziness, feeling faint, tiredness, and heart palpitations. This condition commonly affects young women but can occur in anyone, regardless of age or gender.

The cause of POTS is not yet known. Still, it is suspected to be related to dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system, blood volume abnormalities, and inadequate blood flow regulation. To treat POTS, various methods may be used, including changing one’s lifestyle, taking medication to manage symptoms, and undergoing physical therapy to enhance cardiovascular fitness. The goal of managing POTS is to reduce symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

Types of POTS Syndrome

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is characterized by an abnormal increase in heart rate upon assuming an upright position. Different types of POTS are based on their underlying causes or associated conditions. Here are some common types:

  • Primary POTS: This type of POTS occurs without any known underlying medical condition. Primary POTS is often referred to as idiopathic POTS. The exact cause of primary POTS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
  • Secondary POTS: Secondary POTS is associated with an underlying medical condition or triggering event. Some conditions leading to secondary POTS include autoimmune disorders, connective tissue disorders, diabetes, mitochondrial diseases, and certain infections.
  • Hyperadrenergic POTS: Hyperadrenergic POTS is characterized by an excessive release of norepinephrine (a stress hormone) in response to assuming an upright position. This type of POTS is often associated with increased blood pressure and symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, and palpitations.
  • Neuropathic POTS: Neuropathic POTS is caused by peripheral neuropathy, which is damage or dysfunction of the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. This type of POTS often involves abnormalities in the sensory nerves that control blood vessel dilation and heart rate regulation.
  • Autoimmune POTS: Autoimmune POTS is associated with autoimmune disorders, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues. Conditions like lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis can be associated with autoimmune POTS.

Can You Get Disability Benefits For POTS?

Yes, it is possible to receive disability benefits for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), but the outcome depends on several factors. To qualify for disability benefits, you must demonstrate that your condition significantly impairs your ability to work and perform daily activities.

To apply for disability benefits in the United States, you would typically need to go through the Social Security Administration and apply for SSDI or SSI benefits. The process involves providing medical evidence of your condition and its impact on your ability to work.

When requesting disability benefits, providing thorough medical documentation that demonstrates your POTS diagnosis is crucial. This documentation should include reports from medical professionals, like cardiologists or neurologists, detailing the severity of your symptoms, the effect on your daily activities, and any prescribed treatments or medications.

Additionally, it is critical to show that you have been following appropriate medical treatment for your condition and that your symptoms persist despite receiving treatment. Medical records and documentation of ongoing treatments, such as medications, physical therapy, or other interventions, can strengthen your disability claim.

What are the criteria for POTS diagnosis?

The diagnosis of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) typically involves a comprehensive evaluation that considers the patient’s medical history, symptoms, physical examination, and the exclusion of other possible causes. Here are some criteria commonly used for diagnosing POTS:

  • Symptoms: POTS is characterized by specific symptoms, including an excessive heart rate increase upon standing, which may manifest as a heart rate increase of 30 beats per minute (bpm) or more within 10 minutes of standing or upright posture. Other symptoms may include lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, palpitations, exercise intolerance, fatigue, and brain fog.
  • Duration and frequency: Symptoms should occur for at least six months to meet the diagnostic criteria for POTS. They may fluctuate in severity and may be present daily.
  • Heart rate criteria: The heart rate is a crucial component in diagnosing POTS. It is typically measured by a healthcare professional using a tilt-table test or a standing test. The criteria may vary slightly, but a standard guideline is a heart rate increase of 30 bpm or more (or reaching 120 bpm or more in adults) within the first 10 minutes of standing or upright posture.
  • Exclusion of other causes: It is essential to exclude other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as heart disease, dehydration, medication side effects, adrenal insufficiency, or other autonomic disorders.
  • Orthostatic intolerance: POTS is a form of orthostatic intolerance, which refers to symptoms that worsen when standing or standing upright. This intolerance should be a significant contributor to the overall symptomatology.

Need Legal Help? Contact a disability lawyer.

If you need legal assistance regarding disability-related matters, it is imperative to contact a disability attorney in Louisiana. They possess the knowledge and proficiency necessary to navigate the intricacies of disability laws and can offer invaluable guidance and representation.

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