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Social Security Disability Definitions

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Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

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Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

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

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Facts about Mitral Valve Prolapse and Filing for Disability

1) Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a heart condition characterized by the valve between the atrium and ventricle on the left side of the heart not closing properly.

2) Sometimes MVP causes the valve’s flaps to bulge and go back into the atrium causing blood to enter the left atrium, also known as mitral regurgitation, and other times it is quite harmless. It is estimated that nearly 10 percent of Americans have some form of MVP, though it does not present symptoms or affect their lifestyle.

3) MVP is either classified as classic or non-classic, based on mitral valve leaflet thickness. MVP can also be further categorized as symmetric vs. asymmetric and flail vs. non-flail. While non-classic MVP is low-risk and rarely presents complications, classic MVP can include complications such as mitral regurgitation, congestive heart failure, infective endocarditis and in some cases cardiac arrest and death.

4) Although symptoms for MVP may develop slowly or very often not at all, there may at times be symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath when lying down, difficulty breathing, cough, chest pain or heart palpitations. When these symptoms are present it is referred to as ‘mitral valve prolapse syndrome’.

5) Treatment is not always needed for mitral valve prolapse. If symptoms are present or the patient experiences depressed ejection fraction or the left ventricle becomes enlarged, mitral valve replacement surgery might be an option. Certain drugs might be used to treat the heart issues or mitral regurgitation, such as anti-arrhythmic drugs, vasodilators, diuretics, anticoagulants, or propranol.

6) MVP is associated with Graves disease, Marfan syndrome, polysystic kidney disease, and osteogenesis imperfects.

7) The American Heart Association does not currently recommend giving antibiotics to patients with mitral valve prolapse that are having surgical or dental procedures – a practice that used to be used to protect against patients getting an infection called bacterial endocarditis (BE). If the patient has had BE previously, antibiotics may still be used.

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 and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria