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Social Security Disability Definitions

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Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

Social Security Disability and SSI 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 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

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

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Facts about Syncope and Filing for Disability

1. Syncope is the medical term for what most people refer to as fainting. Fainting is a condition that involves loss of consciousness for a brief time, usually seconds or a few minutes at most.

2. Fainting occurs due to lack of oxygen in the brain. Hypoxia, limited oxygen flow through the body, is a common cause of fainting. Hypoxia can be caused by improper lung function, lack of blood circulation, blockage of oxygen through the blood, or simply because someone stops breathing. Hypotension is another common cause of syncope. Hypotension is the state of low blood pressure, often occurring with shock but not necessarily because of it.

3. Syncope may be caused by lack of food and water, exhaustion from physical activity, lack of sleep, hyperventilation, emotional distress, standing too long or standing up too quickly, and over-heating.

4. Symptoms of fainting include a progression from feeling fine to feeling dizzy, clammy (cold sweat), seeing spots or slow loss of vision, ringing in the ears, and collapse.

5. Syncope may be a chronic condition, or may only occur once or twice in a personís lifetime. Syncope may also occur due to particular chronic conditions, especially those associated with heart conditions, low blood pressure or blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain.

6. Vasovagal syncope, a very common cause of syncope, occurs as a chronic condition. This is the body overreacting to certain triggers, including the sight of blood or emotional distress. It may also exaggerate the bodyís reaction to common fainting triggers, like standing too quickly or lack of food and water.

7. Vasovagal occurs due to a reaction in the nervous system that regulates blood pressure and heart rate. A particular personís triggers cause heart rate to slow, blood pressure to drop, and results in fainting.

8. Vasovagal is diagnosed by ruling out other, more serious, conditions that could cause fainting, particularly heart conditions. Vasovagal is usually harmless and does not require treatment.

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