This post discusses edema and SSDI/SSI (Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income). If edema is preventing you from working, read on for how the Social Security Administration will evaluate your claim for disability benefits.

This article is not offered as medical advice and should not be taken as medical advice. If your are suffering from edema, please seek medical attention.

Edema is excessive fluid that has built up in your tissues. Commonly edema occurs in your extremities (hands, feet and legs). However,  edema can also be in your lungs (pulmonary edema), in the deep veins of your leg (deep vein thrombosis), and eyes (macular edema) among other places.

Edema is classified as pitting or non-pitting.  Pitting edema (most common form) can be demonstrated by applying pressure to the swollen area by depressing the skin with a finger. If the pressing causes an indentation that persists for some time after the release of the pressure, the edema is referred to as pitting edema.

Doctors usually categorize pitting edema on a 1 – 4 scale (with level 4 taking more than 30 seconds for the skin to rebound). Non-pitting (brawny edema) does not result in a persistent indentation and is common in those assessed with lymphedema. Via Medicine.Net

The first step for anyone suffering from symptoms of edema is to visit a doctor and find out what is causing it. There are many underlying conditions that cause edema and the condition must be treated as well as the edema. Some examples of conditions that can cause edema are congestive heart failure; liver damage; kidney disease; chronic venous insufficiency and lymphatic system issues, to name a few. Via The Mayo Clinic

Treatment for edema is based on the underlying cause of the edema. Lasix (furosemide) is frequently prescribed for those suffering from heart disease related edema. Blood thinners are often given to those whose edema stems from blood clots. Sodium restricted diets are also recommended. For lymphedema: wrapping, compression, massage and even surgery are options. Via WebMD

Edema and SSDI/SSI

Is edema a disability? The Social Security Administration does not have a listing specifically for edema but your disability claim may be approved based on the underlying cause of your edema. This is why diagnosing the cause as soon as possible is imperative, both for your health and your disability case.

In my clients with edema, diuretics, elevation and compression stockings usually help to relieve the swelling but this is a daily time-consuming battle. Also, the swelling can increase with walking, sitting or standing for even short periods.

If edema is preventing you from working, file your claim for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible and schedule an appointment with your doctor to find out why you are swelling. The Bishop Law Firm represents SSA Disability clients in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call us today for a free case evaluation!

Also read Social Security Disability Process