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Varicose veins are veins that have become swollen and twisted. They are usually found in your legs. However, they can also occur in other parts of the body. They develop because of a blockage in the vein. As you can see from the illustration below, a normal vein has healthy valves that let the blood flow back to your heart, but keep the valve closed so the blood doesn’t flow backwards. In a varicose vein, the valve opening becomes deformed. That means the blood starts to flow in both directions, causing the vein to swell and hurt.

Varicose veins are more common in women than men. For women, they develop after pregnancy or during menopause when a woman’s estrogen levels decrease. One of the most common causes of varicose veins is genetics. If your parent has them, you probably will too.

Varicose veins can become clotted and inflamed and that leads to thrombosis. Superficial blood clots can form. These blood clots are known as superficial thrombophlebitis, phlebitis, or superficial venous thrombosis. Additionally, if a clot breaks loose, then it can travel through your blood stream and cause an embolism.

Varicose veins. Illustration showing varicose veins and normal veins


If you have varicose veins, then you will know it. You will be able to see the spider veins on your legs or you will be able to see the swollen varicose veins in your legs. Spider veins are small, thin red or purple lines that appear close to the surface of your skin. Varicose veins, however, are much more prominent. They are blue or purple veins that cause a bulge in the skin of your legs, feet and ankles. The veins, over time, will begin to itch and can be very painful.

Here are some of the symptoms of varicose veins:

  • aching uncomfortable legs.
  • swollen feet and ankles.
  • a burning or throbbing sensation in your legs.
  • muscle cramp in your legs.
  • dry, itchy and thin skin over the affected vein.


The following factors can increase the risk of having varicose veins:

  • Age. Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in the veins. These valves control blood flow in your legs. Eventually, as the valves break down, some blood flows back into the veins, where it collects. The collected blood causes the veins to swell and as it gets worse it also causes pain.
  • Gender. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins, because hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause relax the vein walls. Additionally, it is possible for birth control pills, which contain hormones, to increase the risk of varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the blood volume in the body increases. This change can cause the veins in the legs to enlarge.
  • Smoking. Smoking increases your chance of having varicose veins.
  • Family history. If your other family members have varicose veins, then there is a high chance you will too.
  • Obesity. Obesity is a medical term. Morbid obesity occurs when you have too much weight on your body for your height. If you weigh too much, then it puts pressure on the veins and can create more risk for varicose veins.
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time. If you have an office job that requires you to sit throughout an eight hour day, then the extended sitting will create a greater risk of getting varicose veins. Likewise, standing all day can add to the issue. Try to alternate sitting and standing during the day. Movement helps the blood flow in your legs. Additionally, to help blood flow, you can spend some time lying down with your legs above your heart.


If you have believe you have varicose veins, then go to the doctor. Your doctor will examine your legs and look at your veins while you are sitting and also standing. They will ask you about any pain, swelling, or symptoms that your are having.

Your doctor will probably do an ultrasound to check your blood flow. This test uses high frequency sound waves to look at the vein. The doctor holds a wand, which emits the sound waves, next to your skin. The ultrasound gives a picture of the blood that is flowing in your veins.

Your doctor may also do a venogram to assess your veins. During this test, your doctor injects a dye into your legs and then takes X-rays of the area. The dye appears on the X-rays and then your doctor can how your blood is flowing. If your blood is flowing backward, then your doctor knows you have damaged veins. Additionally, tests such as ultrasounds are helpful if you doctor is looking for another reason for the swelling in your legs, such as a blood clot.


Varicose veins can be treated by tying them off with a small device called a band. They can also be treated by stripping them with a laser or an electric needle.

Varicose vein surgery is an operation where they cut into the leg to remove the varicose veins. The surgery is a less invasive option for those who want to avoid more complicated procedures, such as vein stripping, which removes the entire vein. However, you may need vein stripping if you have varicose veins and spider veins.


Yes. Varicose veins can result in bring unable to work and result in award of benefits from the SSA. However, the SSA looks at how bad your varicose veins are in order to determine whether they can pay you benefits. They look to see if you have superficial phlebitis (spider veins) or deep vein thrombosis.

Superficial phlebitis is what is commonly known as spider veins. It affects the veins close to the surface of the skin and it is usually not serious. The second type of phlebitis is called deep vein thrombosis. This is much more serious because it affects the deep veins in the legs. It can cause severe problems, such as blood clots and infection.

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more veins located deep in the lower leg. The most common cause of this kind of phlebitis is an injury resulting from physical exertion or trauma.

Varicose veins can result in pain, swelling and aching. They may also lead to ulcers, skin irritation and other medical conditions. In some cases, they can cause paralysis or due to pain, an inability to walk. The more severe the obstruction in the deep venous system, the more likely you will be awarded benefits.

Varicose veins photo of female legs with varicose veins and spider veins at studio. Collage


The main thing the SSA is looking at when they determine whether or not to pay you benefits is the severity of your varicose veins. For example, you must have extensive brawny edema in your legs or ulcers that do not heal. Brawny edema is swelling that is usually dense and feels firm due to the presence of increased connective tissue. It also comes with skin pigment changes.  For example, if you have brawny edema, then you will have red or brown patches on your skin. These patches can itch and they will be painful.

Brawny edema not the same thing as pitting edema. For example, brawny edema does not pit or indent when you put pressure on the skin. Pitting edema does not satisfy the requirements of listing 4.11.

In order to be awarded SSDI and SSI benefits you must have medical evidence proving all of the elements from listing 4.11:

4.11 Chronic venous insufficiency of a lower leg with incompetence or obstruction of the deep venous system and one of the following:

A. Extensive brawny edema involving at least two-thirds of the leg between the ankle and knee or the distal one-third of the lower extremity between the ankle and hip.


B. Superficial varicosities, stasis dermatitis, and either recurrent ulceration or persistent ulceration that has not healed following at least 3 months of prescribed treatment.


If you do not meet or equal listing 11.04, you can still win benefits using your RFC. The RFC is the medical definition of what you can physically do in a work setting. The RFC takes into account all of your symptoms from varicose veins.

Your RFC includes both your physical and mental symptoms. In terms of physical limits, the SSA will define your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift, during an 8 hour workday. Likewise, the SSA will include your ability to carry, pull, and push. Find out more about how the SSA defines work.

In order to figure out your physical RFC, the SSA will examine your medical records. They will take into account the limits your doctor describes in your medical records. It is important to have your doctor discuss your physical limits due to varicose veins in order to help you win benefits if you do not meet listing 11.04.

If you do not have a doctor who can submit medical records, then you may be sent to a Consultative Examination by the SSA. Find out more about SSA’s doctor exam. The SSA will review any statements from their own doctors.

The SSA will also consider descriptions about your limits from your family, neighbors and friends. For example, your family and friends could write statements about the affects of your mental and physical symptoms on how you act with others. Find out more here about RFC and how it combines with age to eliminate work. Also, find out more about SSA’s Medical Vocational Guidelines. If your varicose veins limit your RFC, then hire an attorney to document those facts for the SSA.


If your varicose veins are severe, such that they keep your from working for over a year, then you may be able to get monthly SSDI and SSI benefits. Applying for benefits with our help is simple. We will help you file your application for benefits online at the Social Security website.

You may not know how to do that. Fortunately, we do. We have spent over 30 years helping clients apply for and win SSD benefits. During that time, we have won over 20,000 SSD and SSI cases. If you receive SSD benefits, then within 29 months of your onset date of disability, you will also receive Medicare benefits. Medicare benefits are a form of health insurance that pays for your medical bills. Find out more about Medicare benefits.

Make sure to apply for SSD and SSI benefits as soon as you know that you are not going to return to work due to your varicose veins. SSI benefits only pay out from the date of your application.  However, if you get SSI benefits, you will also get Medicaid benefits. Additionally, benefits do not pay if you are found disabled after your date last insured. Learn more about the date last insured.

With SSD benefits, you can receive past due benefits one year prior to the date of your application. The opposite is true with SSI benefits. SSI benefits begin the day you apply and they do not go back prior to that date. If you do not apply quickly, you are losing benefits. Learn more about past due SSD benefits.


Are ready to apply for benefits? Then you should hire the best attorney you can find. You will want to hire the firm who has the most experience in order to win your benefits. Also, you want to hire the SSDI lawyer who will support you during the application and appeal process. You should also look for a law firm who specializes in SSD & SSI benefits like Cannon Disability Law. We want to be your legal team. The lawyers at our law firm have won over 20,000 SSD cases in the last 30 years.

Your legal team should also consist of your doctors who are experts in treating for varicose veins. For example, you may need surgery. In that case, make sure you receive treatment from a surgeon who has an excellent reputation. You may also have other problems, such as arthritis of the spine. In that case, you should see a spine doctor. Your doctor can order an MRI and get you the treatment you need. Learn more about back and spinal conditions.

This website contains a list of free and low cost doctors and clinics in Utah and Nevada’s free and low cost services. We also have information on Idaho’s free health services and California’s free medical services on our website. If you are suffering from varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis, then get treatment. Next, contact us today for help in filing your application for SSDI and SSI benefits.


Contacting our law firm is free. We offer a free review and discussion of your case. Also, we do not charge an attorney fee unless we win your case. Our law firm is one of the best firms in the country. We are known as one of the best Social Security law firms in Las Vegas, Nevada and Salt Lake City, Utah. We have won over $100 million in both ongoing and back benefits. Learn more information about past due SSD benefits. Many of those SSDI and SSI cases have been for severe back conditions and chronic back pain.

The lawyers at Cannon Disability Law are also members of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives. Learn more about Utah SSD benefitsNevada SSD information can also be found on this website. If you are from California, then our website has California SSD information. However, we can represent you no matter where you live. Learn more if you have questions about attorneys fees in SSD cases. We work for free until you win benefits.

In order to fight the SSA’s denials, you need a law firm with years of experience. Hire us. Dianna Cannon has been helping people who need SSDI benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have many years of legal experience. Together, we have won over 20,000 SSD and SSI hearings. You can trust us. We will do everything we can to win your benefits. Put our experience to work for you. Call now and win your benefits for varicose veins.

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