Topic Categories:

Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSDRC authored by

Ask a question, get an answer

Facts about Dysautonomia and Filing for Disability

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

1) Dysautonomia, also called autonomic dysfunction, is a general term used to describe various diseases or failures of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is in charge of many involuntary functions such as perspiration, digestion, heart rate, sexual arousal, blood pressure, body temperature, salivation, and more.

2) Dysautonomia can be a primary disorder, or it can transpire in combination with another disease, such as diabetes, and be a secondary disorder.

3) It is estimated that over one million people in the United States are affected with a primary autonomic system disorder.

4) The most common forms of dysautonomia are Orthostatic Intolerance, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Multiple Systems Atrophy, Pure Autonomic Failure, and Neurocardiogenic Syncope.

5) Although the cause of dystautonomia is not known, it is thought that it can be genetic, and also thought to be caused by a number of different things, from pregnancy and physical trauma, to viral illness, autoimmune disorders, degenerative neurological diseases, and brain injury.

6) Dysautonomia is a full-body disease that affects everyone differently. Main symptoms include vertigo, dizziness, headaches, nerve pain, rapid or slow heart rate, excessive fatigue and thirst, and panic or anxiety that are not caused by mental issues. Some people with dysautonomia will only have mild symptoms, while others may become fully disabled by the condition.

7) There is no treatment for dysautonomia, though medication is oftentimes found through trial and error, and used to combat specific symptoms. Unfortunately, not all medications work for all patients; some medicines that help some patients, may worsen the symptoms for another patient.

8) Many times dysautonomia will resolve itself within a couple of years, but sometimes it can cause central nervous system degeneration, especially when combined with Parkinsonís disease, Marfan Syndrome, or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. For some reason, dysautonomia is linked to these three diseases, but medical experts have still not determined how or why.

Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?

Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).

It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).

Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?

Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:

1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;

2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;

3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews