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Social Security Disability Definitions

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Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

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Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

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Facts about Vertigo and Filing for Disability

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

1. Vertigo is the medical term for feeling dizzy, as though the room around you is moving but you are staying still. The condition is related to the sensory system responsible for balance and orientation. This is called the vestibular system, and it is located in the inner ear. When the vestibular system is not functioning properly, it can cause a false sense of movement, or dizziness.

2. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vertigo that occurs with head movement, is the most common cause of vertigo.

3. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo causes episodes of dizziness that may be mild or intense. It typically happens if you turn your head a certain way such as looking up or down, lie down or sit and stand quickly, or turn over while lying down.

4. The symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo cause discomfort, but are not dangerous. The only serious health concerns for those with the condition are injuries from falling due to instability and dizziness, and dehydration if excess vomiting occurs.

5. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is treated with a variety of head movements, performed in a doctor’s office and also at home. This should resolve condition over a matter of days.

6. Vestibular migraine is another common cause of vertigo. Vestibular migraines are migraines that include vertigo as a symptom, or the only symptom.

7. Meniere’s disease is an uncommon condition affecting the inner ear and the sensory perceptions associated with it. The condition causes vertigo, ringing and pressure in the ears, nausea and vomiting, and progressive hearing loss.

8. It is estimated that about 600,000 people in the United States have the disease, and symptoms vary by individual. Vertigo may be the most severe and primary symptom, or ringing in the ears may be the most significant symptom. Most people will eventually lose at least some of their hearing.

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