Qualifying With an Aortic Aneurysm Over 50

When the walls in your aorta weaken and bulge, an aortic aneurysm results. If it bursts, blood could begin to leak into your system. Some aortic aneurysms divert blood flow from your organs and tissues, resulting in stroke, heart attack, and kidney damage. If living with an aortic aneurysm prevents you from maintaining regular employment, you may be approved for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits, particularly if you are over 50.

Grid Rules and Aortic Aneurysm

When evaluating some disability claims, the SSA applies its "grid rules," which assess your ability to maintain gainful employment in a field that you are trained and qualified for. The grid uses the criteria below to arrive at a finding.

  • Age
  • Level of education (high school vs. college or university)
  • The skills you acquired while employed
  • Whether you have skills that can be transferred to another job
  • Your ability to do certain types of work

Your chances of being approved for benefits go up if you are over 50, due to employer reluctance to hire older workers for entry-level positions and the fact that a successful transition to a new occupation is seen as more difficult the closer you come to retirement age.

What Type of Work Can Someone Do With This Condition?

When aortic aneurysms grow, they can exert pressure on your nerves, causing pain or numbness in your leg, abdomen, chest, or back. Even if this does not happen in your case, those diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm cannot undertake any activity vigorous enough to raise their blood pressure.

When you are a 52-year-old shipper and receiver, for example, continuing to work will prove impossible due to the level of activity required. Even if you could technically do sedentary work, your age can prevent you from transitioning to a new occupation, as few entry-level jobs are offered to those over 50 and older workers may face more challenges with retraining. For this reason, even if your grid results do not result in a disability finding, you may still be approved for benefits.

Here's a little more information on what you should do if you've experience a heart problem and wish to apply for disability benefits.

Meeting a Blue Book Listing

When you file for benefits, the SSA will see if you meet a condition listed in the Blue Book, its disability guidebook. Aortic aneurysms are referenced in Section 4.10 - Aneurysm of aorta or major branches. If your condition has been verified by medical imaging tests and treatment has not controlled the risk of the aneurysm bursting, you will likely be approved for benefits.

Once you decide to apply, a recommended course of action is to contact a Social Security attorney or advocate who can show you how to file your claim, advise you on what documentation is needed, and represent you if your claim is denied the first time around. Statistics have shown that those who file with assistance from a disability claims professional have a much higher chance of approval in the end. When it comes to getting the benefits you need, the time and effort spent locating the right attorney or advocate for your case will be well worth it.

You can get connected with a Social Security disability attorney or advocate today by filling out our Free Disability Evaluation

Additional Resources