Social Security Disability Benefits and Venous Disease by Molly Clarke!

Vein Experts Blog: Patients | Physicians
Posted/Last Updated: 7/31/2013

Social Security Disability Benefits and Venous Disease

A venous disease is any condition that affects a person’s veins. Veins play a critical role in the circulatory process. After arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to your different body parts, veins are responsible for returning the blood back to the heart. When veins become diseased or irregular, a person’s health may be seriously compromised.

Venous disease affects people in a variety of ways. While many individuals with venous disease are able to function and live normally, some individuals with venous disease develop more serious symptoms and become extremely limited. If symptoms of venous disease prevent you from working and earning a living, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Disability benefit payments can be used to offset the costs of medical treatments and make up for the income you’ve lost by leaving the work force. If you are interested in learning more about SSD benefits, the following article will provide you with a general overview of SSD benefits and will help you take the necessary steps toward beginning the SSD application process.


The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two different types of SSD benefits. These two programs are very different and have completely separate technical eligibility requirements.

SSDI- Social Security Disability Insurance is an entitlement program that offers financial assistance to disabled workers and their dependents. Only applicants who’ve earned income and paid Social Security taxes over the course of their career will qualify for SSDI. Learn how to qualify for SSDI, here:

SSI- Supplemental Security Income is unlike SSDI in that it is a needs-based program rather than an entitlement program. SSI does not require that applicants pay taxes or contribute to the program. Instead, SSI is offered to disabled, blind, or elderly individuals who earn very little income.  Learn more about qualifying for SSI, here:

In cases where an individual qualifies for SSDI but still earns very little income, applicants may qualify for both types of benefits.

Medical Requirements

Unlike the technical requirements for SSDI and SSI, the medical requirements for these programs are the same. First and foremost, all applicants must meet the SSA’s definition of adult disability. This definition is made up of the following criteria:

·       You cannot do the work you were able to do prior to becoming disabled.

·       You have a physical and/or mental condition that makes it impossible for you to be retrained to do a new type of work.

·       Your condition has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months or result in death.

If you meet all three of the requirements that make up the SSA’s definition of disability, you will then be evaluated based on extremely specific medical criteria. These criteria vary from condition to condition and can be found in the SSA’s blue book. The blue book is the SSA’s official list of impairments. Under each listing you will find the specific symptoms and ailments that qualify a person for benefits.

You will find all listings for venous disease in section 4.00 of the blue book. This section is titled Cardiovascular System and covers all disabling conditions that impair the circulatory system. This includes the heart, arteries, lymphatic drainage, capillaries, and veins.

To qualify medically, you must meet all the criteria of a blue book listing. If you suffer from severe venous disease, you may qualify under one of the following listings.

·       Section 4.10- Aneurysm of Aorta or Major Branches

·       Section 4.11- Chronic Venous Insufficiency

·       Section 4.12- Peripheral Artery Disease

If you do not have a condition that is listed in the blue book but are still disabled by your venous disease, you can qualify for SSD benefits if you can match the symptoms of a separate listing. If you find that you cannot match any other listings, the SSA will evaluate your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Your RFC is an assessment of your ability to work and your ability to be retrained. The RFC considers age, education, job training, and physical abilities. If it is determined that you cannot work, you will qualify under what is called a Medical Vocational Allowance. This means that although you do not meet a blue book listing, the SSA has determined that your condition prevents you from doing any type of work.

Read all blue book listings, here:

Social Security Disability Application Process

Prior to applying for disability benefits, it is very important that you collect all relevant medical records to support your claim. Without medical evidence, the SSA will have no choice but to deny your claim. For a complete list of all required documents, see the SSA’s Adult Disability Checklist. (

Once you are fully prepared for the application process, you can apply on the SSA’s website or in person at your local SSA field office.  After applying, you will receive a decision within the next few months. It is important to note that many applicants are not approved during the initial application process. If you are denied, you have 60 days in which to appeal the decision. Although it may be discouraging to have your initial claim denied, the appeals process is often a necessary step toward receiving disability benefits.

For more information about venous disease and Social Security Disability benefits, visit the following page:


Molly Clarke is the Social Media Coordinator for Social Security Disability Help. She is a regular contributor to the Social Security Disability Help blog where she works to promote disability awareness and assist people throughout the Social Security Disability application process.  She can be reached at

Molly Clarke

Molly Clarke 

Molly Clarke

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