What Is Syncope and Is It Eligible for Disability?

Most types of syncope aren't eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

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Syncope is another term for fainting. If an individual experiences an episode of syncope, it can be the result of a pathological condition or a harmless cause. Most syncope episodes are short lived and usually an individual has no lasting effects. Such episodes of syncope are cuased by lack of blood flow to the brain and may be related to fatigue, lack of food or water, lack of sleep, hypoglycemia, intense exercise beyond the body’s endurance, or simply standing up too quickly. 

If you suffer from neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS), or vasovagal syncope, a central nervous system disorder, you may have repeated bouts of fainting. This type of syncope can make you eligible for disability benefits. For more information, see our article on disability for autonomic dysfunction.

A more serious cause for syncope is an arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythym. Having syncope, or near syncope (almost fainting), is actually required to qualify for disability benefits on the basis of an arrhythmia. For more information, see our article on disability benefits for arrhythmias.