Is High Blood Pressure a Disability?
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessels and organs such as the heart and kidneys. And the consequences of HBP may be more severe than you realize. But is high blood pressure a disability? Learn more about HBP and disability benefits below.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure created by blood flowing through the circulatory system. BPH is measured using two readings: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure measures whether the heart is contracting and diastolic pressures show if the heart relaxes between beats.
The normal range for blood pressure is systolic pressure of 100-140 and a diastolic pressure of 60-90 and is read with the systolic number followed by the diastolic number such as "100 over 60" and written as 100/60.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be either primary or secondary in nature. Primary hypertension means that HBP is happening without any other medical conditions. Secondary hypertension means that HBP is occurring as a result of another medical condition.
Secondary hypertension may be caused by kidney disease, heart disease or artery blockages, or a compromised endocrine (glandular) system. Hypertension is more likely to occur in individuals who are obese or who have an adrenal gland disorder.
How Serious Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure or hypertension has been called the silent killer because up to one-third of people are unaware they have HBP. In addition, people may not be aware of the potential consequences of undetected and untreated HBP. Individuals with HBP are at a higher risk for heart attacks, stroke, aneurysms, and kidney disease. Left untreated, HBP can cause permanent damage to vital organs. Blood pressure readings of 180/110 or higher are considered a hypertension emergency.
Symptoms of Hypertension
People with very high blood pressure may experience a number of different symptoms including:
- Severe headaches
- Confusion or fatigue
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeats
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears
If you experience these symptoms and are at risk for high blood pressure, see your doctor immediately.
Is High Blood Pressure a Disability?
High blood pressure can be a disabling condition, but it may be difficult to demonstrate to an insurance company. HBP can be triggered by stress, anger, or personality traits. Some individuals with HBP can manage it by making lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and weight loss.
However, others may still have dangerously high blood pressure even after making lifestyle changes. Medication may be helpful but still may not be enough to prevent short and long-term symptoms and lasting physiological damage. In these cases, people may be unable to work at their regular jobs.
How Can I Receive Disability Benefits?
There are challenges inherent in obtaining disability benefits for high blood pressure. As mentioned above, treatment may help to manage HBP which may cause an insurance company to reject your claim.
You may need to file a short-term disability claim with your employer before you're able to apply for long-term disability benefits. It's always important to read your insurance policy to understand the limitations and exclusions that may affect your benefits.
What Do I Need for My Claim?
It's important to work with your physician to document your condition and to demonstrate the treatment you have received. Medical evidence is the most compelling information you can provide your insurance company when you submit a claim.
Include information about prescriptions, lifestyle changes, and treatments from other health care professionals such as physical therapists or chiropractors. If your HBP was caused by another medical condition, you will need to provide information from your urologist, cardiologist, or ophthalmologist. Be sure your medical records are up-to-date and complete.
In addition to medical records and documentation, you will need to demonstrate how your high blood pressure prevents you from performing work and how it limits your daily activities. For example, if your vision is adversely affected or if you experience shortness of breath, you may be unable to perform even sedentary work.
If you run into challenges with your disability claim, consider hiring the services of an experienced Ocala disability attorney. We can review your medical records, make recommendations about your claims, and represent you in the event you need to file an appeal.
Speak to CJ Henry Law Firm PLLC Today
Is high blood pressure a disability? It can be, but that doesn't mean obtaining disability benefits for HBP is easy. At CJ Henry Law Firm PLLC, we can help you understand how to qualify and what you need to file a successful claim. Contact us today to learn more.