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Applying for Disability with high blood pressure

Along with various related back problems (degenerative disc disease, lower back pain, spinal stenosis, curvature of the spine), hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most commonly listed impairments on applications for disability.

Can you be approved on the basis of high blood pressure for social security disability or SSI? Yes you can. And unlike a number of various physical and mental impairments, high blood pressure is given specific consideration in the social security administration's impairment listing manual.

Disability criteria for hypertension fall under section 4.03, titled Hypertensive Cardiovascular disease. However, this listing, like so many others, refers to the criteria designated in other listings. Basically, disability applicants with high blood pressure are evaluated under the SSA criteria for chronic heart failure and ischemic heart disease (another way of saying coronary artery disease).

More on: Applying for disability with Congestive Heart Failure, CHF

More on: Applying for disability with coronary artery disease

They are also evaluated according by reference to certain body organs that are typically affected by high blood pressure such as the heart (previously mentioned), the brain, the eyes, and the kidneys.

Should this be surprising? Not really. As I've said many times here before. In evaluating disability claims, the social security administration is not concerned with a specific diagnosis (in other words, the identification of a condition), but, rather with the functional limitations caused by having one or more conditions.

What follows is basic information on hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure:

Elevated blood pressure is not considered an illness, however the condition is treated because of its adverse effects upon organs such as the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, and lungs. If an individual has persistent elevated blood pressure of 140/ 90, the diagnosis is hypertension.

Hypertension is categorized into two types: essential or primary hypertension and secondary hypertension.

Approximately ninety percent of all diagnosed cases of hypertension are considered to be essential hypertension. Essential hypertension is hypertension with no specific etiology, which affects adolescents and adults. Although the cause of essential hypertension is not known, there seems to be a correlation to obesity, cholesterol, and, occasionally diabetes mellitus.

Secondary hypertension is caused by another condition such as certain types of tumors (especially adrenal gland tumors) or kidney disease. Renal parenchymal disease causes about seventy percent of the secondary hypertension among children.

There are many risk factors associated with persistent hypertension, including stroke, aneurysms, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, hypertensive chronic heart failure, hypertensive nephrology (chronic renal failure), and hypertensive retinopathy. Secondary hypertension is usually resolved by treating the underlying condition.

Treatment options for mild to moderate essential hypertension might include weight loss and exercise, however moderate to severe hypertension requires drug therapy.

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

Related pages:

Social Security Disability Requirements
Filing a Social Security Disability or SSI application
SSI disability qualifications for adults and children
Permanent disabilility qualifications

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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability qualifications - Who will qualify is based on functional limitations
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to file for disability and the information needed by Social Security
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI? Part I
To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
How long does it take to get disability?
Filing and applying for disability in Texas