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Marfan syndrome is a genetic connective tissue disorder that can cause severe physical issues. For example, the condition affects multiple body systems, including the skeleton, eyes, heart, blood vessels, nervous system, skin, and lungs. If your symptoms are severe and prevent you from working, then you can obtain SSDI and SSI benefits for Marfan’s syndrome.

The effects of the condition can range from mild to severe. In most cases, the disorder progresses as you age. If your symptoms are so severe that they prevent you from working for one year or more, then you can apply for SSDI and SSI benefits.

People with Marfan syndrome are usually tall, with long arms and legs and an abnormally curved spine. Some people with the condition also have heart and eye problems, as well as joint problems. Treatment for Marfan syndrome focuses on controlling symptoms. This includes medications to help control blood pressure, heart rate, and other issues. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases to correct physical problems or repair damaged organs or tissues.

Marfan Syndrome phrase on the screen. Oncologist use cell technologies at office.


Marfan syndrome is a serious condition that can cause severe physical and mental symptoms. It can impact your ability to work and make it difficult for you to support yourself. Fortunately, there are several ways to obtain Social Security benefits. These benefits can provide financial stability and peace of mind while you work to manage your condition.

We will discuss the different types of Social Security benefits available for Marfan syndrome and how you can apply for them. We will also discuss the importance of hiring a lawyer with years of Social Security legal experience, like Cannon Disability Law, to help you win benefits.

The most common type of benefit to apply if you have Marfan Syndrome is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This is a benefit that pays you a portion of your monthly income to replace your paycheck, because you are unable to work due to your illness. To apply, you must submit an application to the Social Security Administration. You can apply online on the Social Security’s website. Next, you will need to submit medical evidence to the SSA that proves you cannot work for at least one year. This evidence should be from your treating doctor.

Another option is filing an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The SSI program provides benefits based on financial need. Therefore, if you have Marfan syndrome, you can be paid benefits even if you have no work experience. You can also win benefits if your symptoms prevent you from working at your past job and any other job in the economy. Additionally, you can win benefits if the side effects of treatment leave you unable to work.


Most individuals with Marfan syndrome have abnormalities associated with the heart and blood vessels. Your heart’s mitral valve may leak, causing a heart murmur. Small leaks may not cause symptoms, but large leaks may cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations.

Another effect is that the wall of the aorta may weaken and cause an aortic dilation. This aortic dilation may tear, dissect, or rupture, causing serious heart problems or sometimes sudden death. The SSA will look at your Marfan syndrome under the appropriate body system. For example, the SSA will look at Listing 4.10 to determine if they can pay you benefits. If you do not meet or equal a listing from SSA’s “blue book,” then the SSA can consider the functional limits imposed by your condition.


Scientists believe Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation. But, the genes that are responsible have not been thoroughly identified. To diagnose Marfan syndrome, the doctor uses your medical history, including family history and a physical exam. The doctor will also evaluate the ratio of arm/leg size to the trunk size. Additionally, the doctor will do a slit lamp eye exam and order a heart test.

There is also genetic testing you can have for Marfan syndrome. Genetic testing for mutations in fibrillin-1 (FBN1) and other genes are an important aid in the diagnosis of Marfan syndrome. However, the results of genetic testing are not always straightforward. Therefore, working with a medical geneticist or a genetic counselor might be necessary.

Although Marfan’s syndrome is usually present at birth, it may not be diagnosed until adolescence or young adulthood. Without treatment, the average life expectancy for a patient with Marfan syndrome is 45 years.


Treatment for Marfan syndrome is often tailored to each individual patient and may involve medications, habit changes, and surgery. While there is no cure for Marfan syndrome, treatment can help manage symptoms.


There are a variety of medications that may help manage Marfan syndrome, including calcium channel blockers and beta-blockers. There have been some recent improvements in medications to help manage symptoms. For example, steroids can be used to treat inflammation and other autoimmune diseases. Corticosteroids work by suppressing the immune system, reducing inflammation, pain and swelling.


People with Marfan syndrome should be active and avoid smoking or excessive drinking as this can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure. It can also increase the risk for heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. Additionally, following a proper diet may reduce the risk for bone fragility, which can occur with Marfan syndrome.


A variety of surgical procedures are available to treat Marfan syndrome problems with the heart or lungs.  These include balloon angioplasty, removing scar tissue, and valve replacement. It is well known that athletes with Marfan syndrome are at risk for early onset osteoarthritis and hip dislocations. Problems such as these have traditionally been managed through physical therapy.



Abraham Lincoln may have had Marfan syndrome. Over the years, many scientists have wondered whether Abraham Lincoln had Marfan syndrome. In the 1990s, a geneticist asked the National Museum of Health and Medicine to test Lincoln’s hair and bones to find out if he had Marfan syndrome. Those with Marfan syndrome often have unusually tall height and elongated fingers, toes and limbs. These were all traits of Lincoln. The museum voted against the geneticist request.

However, more recently, evidence of Marfan syndrome was found in a male descendant of Mordecai Lincoln II, great-great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln. The common ancestry of the patient and the 16th president appears to show that Lincoln’s unusual morphological traits were due to Marfan syndrome.


Flo Hyman was six feet 5 inches tall and she did not know that she had Marfan’s syndrome. She was one of the United States’ best volleyball players. Hyman played in the 1981 World Cup and the 1982 World Championship, when the US won the bronze medal. Her volleyball spike was the “Flying Clutchman”, a fast volleyball spike that travels at 110 mph.

In 1984, she led the US to the silver medal in volleyball. After the Olympics, she moved to Japan to be a professional player. She died in January, 1986, after she collapsed at a volleyball match in Japan. Her family requested an autopsy where the doctor found that her undiagnosed Marfan syndrome had caused a fatal aortic dissection. She was 31 years old when she died from Marfan Syndrome.


Michael Phelps, the famous swimmer, is six feet 4 inches tall and he has a wingspan of six feet 7 inches. His unique stature invites the theory that he has Marfan Syndrome. When his autobiography came out, “Michael Phelps: Beneath the Surface,” he talked about being checked for the condition.
Phelps wrote, “My heart rate was accelerating, and Bob suggested I see the doctor. Because I was very flexible and had long hands and feet, I had some early symptoms of Marfan syndrome, a disease that affects connective tissues and can be fatal if there is leakage to the vessels that lead to the heart.”  He then wrote that he did not suffer from the condition. However, he has been tested once a year at John’s Hopkins to make sure that his heart is in good shape.


Listing 4.10 defines disability due to an aneurysm. Listing 4.10 states the SSA will pay benefits due to an aneurysm of the aorta or major branches, due to any cause, including Marfan syndrome. However, you must have  medical imaging to prove you have a dissection that is not controlled by treatment.

The listing under 4.00H6 describes what the SSA means when an aneurysm is not controlled. An aneurysm (or bulge in the aorta or one of its major branches) is dissecting when the inner lining of the artery begins to separate from the arterial wall.

The SSA considers the dissection not controlled when you have chest pain due to the progression of the dissection, an increase in the size of the aneurysm, or compression of one or more branches of the aorta that supply blood to the heart, kidneys, brain, or other organs.

Obviously, Marfan syndrome can create severe symptoms, particularly with the heart. If you have treatment for this condition, please contact our law firm. We can help you apply for and win SSDI and SSI benefits. If you are looking for other signs that you will win SSD benefits, then read here.


What happens if you don’t meet or equal one of SSA’s listings? Can you still win benefits, even if you don’t meet listing 4.10? The answer is yes. But, only if your Marfan syndrome effects your RFC.

Your RFC is what you can physically do after taking into account all of your symptoms. Your RFC determines your ability to work. The different areas of work are sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy. Each level of work has a specific definition.

Sedentary work demands are less than light work demands, which are, in turn, less than medium. The SSA uses three definitions of work to decide your case:  sedentary, light, and medium. These work categories show the SSA  if you can work at your old job or adjust to other work.

At the lower levels of the Social Security appeal process, an SSA doctor will identify whether your symptoms prevent you from working. In other words, the doctor will outline your RFC by looking at your medical records. Find out more here about the importance of medical records in your SSD and SSI case.

You also have the option to have a RFC form filled out by your treating doctor. Your treating doctor knows more than anyone about your  Marfan syndrome symptoms and the impact they are having on your ability to work. The SSA will consider the opinion of your doctor. Overall, having your doctor state that your Marfan syndrome prevents you from working will increase your chances of winning benefits.


When you are at the lower levels of your SSDI case, the SSA may decide to schedule you for an exam with a doctor that they choose and pay for. They will schedule you for an exam in order to find out more about how your Marfan syndrome impairs your RFC. At your SSA doctor exam you will visit the doctor and be able to discuss your symptoms. You need to go to the exam.

If you don’t go, the SSA will deny your case. You don’t want that to happen. Use the exam to tell the doctor what physical and mental conditions of Marfan syndrome are making it impossible for you to work. Additionally, bring your medical records to the exam so the doctor can review them. Don’t rely on the SSA to send your records.

The SSA will send you a written notice about your exam in the mail. It will have the name of the doctor, the address you need to go to, and the date and time of the exam. If you cannot attend the exam on that date, then you must immediately call the SSA and inform them that you have a conflict. Usually, they will give you a new time for the exam, so that you can attend. Whatever you do, do not miss the exam. They will not give you a new time the exam for you if you miss it without explanation.

After the exam, the doctor will send a report about your Marfan syndrome to the SSA. You do not need to pay for this exam. The exam is ordered and paid for by the SSA.


You do not need to apply for Social Security benefits by yourself. You can always call our law firm and we will help you win benefits for Marfan syndrome. We can help you file your application for benefits. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can.


It can be difficult to prove to the SSA that your Marfan syndrome symptoms prevent you from working. However, Cannon Disability Law will obtain your medical evidence and make the legal arguments that prove you cannot work. We will do our best to help you win your Social Security benefits. We are happy to answer your questions and help you file your application for SSD and SSI benefits. Contacting us and talking to us about your case is free.

We offer a free review of your case. Likewise, we will not charge you an attorney fee unless we win your case. If we do not win your case, you will not pay an attorney fee. There are costs to every claim and the client pays those costs. However, costs are minimal and usually involve paying for medical records from your doctor. If you would like to learn more about attorneys fees in SSDI and SSI cases, read here.

In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in ongoing and past due due SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. You want to hire an attorney with the experience to win your case. Also, you an SSD attorney to help you  through the Social Security appeal process. We have the experience you need to win your benefits. Additionally, we believe we are the best legal team to help you with your SSD case. Hire the best Social Security firm to help you apply for benefits and appeal your case. Contact us today.


The SSA benefits application and appeal process can be long and complex. It certainly won’t be easier for you if you have Marfan syndrome. Hire Cannon Disability Law to give you legal advice and walk you through the application process. In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due due benefits for our clients.

If you want to win SSDI and SSI benefits, then hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. We do not charge you any money up front to help you or for you to become our client. You only pay us an attorney fee when you win benefits. If you don’t win, then you don’t pay an attorney fee.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For example, you can learn about Andria Summers, who has 21 experience working at Cannon Disability Law. She can also help you with your Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.

Additionally, Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win benefits for over thirty years. Ms. Cannon has years of Federal Court experience. She has also taught law school and written a book on SSDI benefits. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are Social Security law experts. You can trust us to help you win your benefits for Marfan syndrome. We want to make the difficult process of winning benefits as easy as possible for you. For help, contact us today.

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