Mitral Valve Prolapse: Can I Get Disability Benefits?

Whether you can get Social Security or SSI disability depends on the severity of your mitral valve prolapse.

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Mitral valve prolapse is a heart condition where the valve between the chambers of the heart, which keeps the blood flowing in the right direction, fails to close properly. It is typified by an enlarged mitral valve cusp, which becomes displaced into the left ventricle during the left ventricle contraction. This mitral valve displacement may lead to serious heart problems, such as mitral regurgitation (blood flowing backwards), fibrillation (quivering of the heart muscle leading to irregular heart beats), and, in some cases, sudden cardiac arrest. However, for most people, the effects of mitral valve prolapse are usually relatively benign.

Symptoms of mitral valve prolapse can include chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.

Treatment options for mitral valve prolapse may involve replacing the valve, which occurs in about 11% of cases. Valve replacement is recommended for patients who have left ventricle dysfunction and an ejection fraction of under 60%. 

Depending on what symptoms your mitral valve prolapse causes, you could be eigible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or SSI if it impacts your life so severely that you aren't able to function enough to work. The SSA doesn't have a specific impairment listing for heart valve abnormalities, but it would evaluate you for disability under one of its listings for heart disease, depending on what your symptoms are. If the SSA finds that your symptoms and limitations are equal to that of a listed problem, like aortic aneurysm, you could be granted disability benefits. Alternately, if you can show that your limitations rule out any type of work you can do, you can get disability through a medical-vocational allowance.

Updated by: , J.D.

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