Social Security Disability – Neurocardiogenic Syncope

Disabling Condition: Neurocardiogenic Syncope (Fainting) – Condition, Symptoms and Social Security Disability

Syncope is a temporary loss of consciousness or fainting. The two main causes of syncope are cardiac arrhythmias and neurocardiogenic syndromes. Both conditions are characterized by reduced blood circulation to the brain causing loss of consciousness. Where fainting episodes occur frequently and result in post-event fatigue and other symptoms, then it may become impossible to work. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be available to help you deal with the inability to continue working.

Neurocardiogenic Syncope. This is an autonomic disorder classified under Dysautonomia or Autonomic Dysfunction. This condition is also referred to as vasovagal syncope and neurally mediated syncope. The physical symptoms commonly associated with this condition including recurring syncope (fainting) and pre-syncope (nearly fainting and lightheadedness), chronic fatigue, hypotension, tachycardias, diarrhea, constipation, sweating, and digestive tract peristalsis. Claimants suffering neurocardiogenic syncope may also experience mental and emotional symptoms which are sometimes associated with neurocardiosyncope including sleep problems and poor concentration.

For individuals predisposed to this type of syncope, many activities of daily living can trigger fainting including prolonged periods of quiet in an upright position (standing in line), a warm environment (hot crowded room, hot shower), emotionally stressful events (fright, anxiety), standing up after sitting, or exercise. The individual’s history of syncope events and a head-up tilt test are often used to diagnose the condition.

Medical basis for claim

Disability examiners and administrative law judges use the Listings of Impairments manual (“Blue Book”) as their guide to determine whether a claimant meets or does not meet the Social Security Administration’s requirements for total disability. The Blue Book does not contain a listing for Neurocardiogenic Syncope.

Proof of claim requirements

There are three elements to a claimant’s proof of pain. Claimant must show:

  • 1. There is a medically determinable physical or mental impairment;
  • 2. The impairment can cause the type of alleged symptom (fainting, fatigue, etc.), and,
  • 3. The fainting events and other symptoms limit the claimant’s Residual Functional Capacity to the degree the claimant asserts.

Elements one and two are matters that rely on medical records and medical opinion  evidence. Tilt table test results, physical exam results, physical therapy notes and other evidence from a treating physician, emergency room, hospital or other medical source supporting both of these issues must be presented in support of your claim. You should inform you doctor about the frequency of occurrence, activity at time of event, your post-fainting condition, time needed to recover, fatigue and any other factors related to severity of your condition, and how that affects your daily activities.

Inclusion of these facts in the doctor’s treatment notes will help you establish that your  physician is treating your symptoms as part of your medical condition and that they are limitations on your functional abilities.

The third criteria can be proven by objective findings in the claimant’s medical opinions  and records. It is also important to establish this element by the testimony of the claimant and his/her lay witnesses (family, friends and other non-medical persons) the impact of these events on the daily activities of the claimant.

Getting Help With Your Claim

Pursuing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits on your on is difficult, and you should consider employing a qualified attorney to assist you. Your attorney can help you evaluate your medical records and help obtain your doctor’s responses to a questionnaire designed to establish your condition and the severity of its impact on your life and your ability to work.


An experienced attorney familiar with Social Security disability law can help you protect your rights and can help you get the benefits you deserve. We have the knowledge, experience and skill to assist you in dealing with the process of obtaining help from these Social Security benefits programs. We represent disabled individuals in SSA Disability claims throughout North Georgia including Acworth, Atlanta, Canton, Cartersville, Kennesaw, Johns Creek, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, and Woodstock. Contact us today to discuss your situation and the benefits you are be entitled to receive.

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