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The blood vessels around your heart have narrowed and you are feeling the effects in your legs and feet. Your legs may hurt and your doctor may have diagnosed you with peripheral arterial disease. If lifestyle changes, medications, and surgeries do not improve your condition, you may be disabled and you may be unable to work.

Social Security Disability May Be an Option for You

Peripheral arterial disease is specifically included in Section 4.12 of the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments. In order to qualify pursuant to this section, you must have peripheral arterial disease causing intermittent claudication and at least one of the following:

  • Resting ankle/brachial systolic blood pressure ratio of less than 0.50
  • Decrease in systolic blood pressure at the ankle on exercise of 50 percent or more of pre-exercise level and requiring 10 minutes or more to return to pre-exercise level
  • Resting toe systolic pressure of less than 30 mm Hg
  • Resting toe/brachial systolic blood pressure ratio of less than 0.40

These criteria are further explained in the Listing of Impairments and should be discussed with your Social Security disability lawyer before you submit an application for benefits.

Required Medical Evidence

The Social Security Administration will look to the following kinds of medical information when determining whether or not your peripheral arterial disease qualifies you for Social Security disability:

  • The results of your physical examinations
  • The results of Doppler studies
  • The results of other appropriate non-invasive studies or angiographic findings

In some cases, Doppler studies may be paid for by the Social Security Administration.

How to Qualify Another Way

If you have peripheral arterial disease and you do not qualify pursuant to Section 4.12 in the Listing of Impairments, you may still be eligible if you can prove that your symptoms are equal in severity to the another listing or if you lack the residual functional capacity to work.

However You Qualify, You Deserve a Board Certified Social Security Disability Lawyer on Your Side

Even if you believe that your case is clear cut and that you will be found eligible for Social Security disability benefits, it is important to know that the majority of initial disability applications are denied. You can help prevent your own application from being denied by working with an experienced and board certified attorney.

To learn more about your rights please download a free copy of our Social Security Disability Fact Sheet or call us directly to schedule an initial consultation.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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