Peripheral artery disease is a condition that reduces blood flow to the limbs. It most often affects the legs but rarely involves the arms as well. It can be painful and debilitating, with potentially catastrophic complications.
People with peripheral artery disease may be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits. However, the condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria.
What causes peripheral artery disease?
Rarely, peripheral artery disease can occur because of traumatic injury to the limbs or inflammation of the blood vessels. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, the most common cause is the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries that reduce blood flow, a condition called atherosclerosis.
What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?
The most common symptom is claudication, which is cramping of the affected limbs during activity that usually resolves with rest. Claudication occurs when the muscles do not receive enough oxygen due to decreased blood flow. Other symptoms of peripheral artery disease include reduced pulse in the affected limb, as well as weakness, numbness or coldness due to the loss of circulation.
When does peripheral artery disease qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?
A person applying for benefits for peripheral artery disease from the Social Security Administration must show evidence of intermittent claudication and provide medically acceptable imaging confirming the diagnosis. Additionally, he or she must be able to demonstrate abnormally reduced blood pressure in the affected limb.
Treatment for peripheral artery disease includes symptom management and preventing the progression of atherosclerosis, typically with medications and lifestyle changes and possibly with surgery.