Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), is a dysautonomia disorder that affects the way the blood flows through your body. If you have POTS, just standing up can make your heart race and your autonomic nervous system go haywire. You may feel light-headed, dizzy and pass out — and that’s just to start.
If you’ve been diagnosed with POTS, here’s what you should know about filing for Social Security Disability benefits:
1. There’s no specific mention of POTS in Social Security’s handbook.
Social Security keeps a list of disorders that — if you meet the exact description and have the exact symptoms — are considered disabling. POTS, like most rare disorders that are poorly understood, isn’t on it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win your case. You just have to prove that your condition is as limiting as others on the list.
2. List all your conditions and all your symptoms.
When you’re trying to express the severity of a listed condition, it’s important to make sure that Social Security considers everything. Don’t assume that they have any idea of how POTS affects you personally unless you tell them. Make sure to list off all the symptoms you experience that you find limiting, including:
- Chronic pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog
- Bladder dysfunction
You should also list any comorbid conditions that you have and their disabling symptoms. For example, if you have developed depression due to your POTS and are seeking treatment, make sure that you list depression as another part of your disability.
3. Document everything carefully with your doctor.
One of the things Social Security needs to see to approve your claim is persistent, long-lasting problems. The more you document your condition — through a chart of your symptoms or daily notes that you show to your doctor — the more evidence they have that your condition is serious.
Getting approved for Social Security Disability with a condition like POTS — which is still relatively unknown — can be hard, but you can get experienced help with the process.