Certain heart conditions can make it difficult for a person to continue working, such as heart failure and ischemic heart disease. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has included certain heart conditions in its list of medical problems that are eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Read on to learn about the heart conditions that may qualify for benefits, including the conditions that are not listed but may still qualify SSD benefits.
If you have a heart condition or another disability and have questions about your eligibility for SSD, call our Oshkosh Social Security Disability lawyers today. We are prepared to help you file an application with the SSA and work with you throughout the process to pursue the benefits you need.
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What Heart Conditions Qualify for Disability Benefits?
According to section 4.00 of the SSA Blue Book, a cardiovascular condition is any disorder that affects the proper functioning of the heart or circulatory system. The Blue Book lists several heart conditions that may be more likely to qualify for SSD benefits, including:
- Chronic heart failure
- Ischemic heart disease
- Recurrent arrhythmias
- Symptomatic congenital heart disease
- Heart transplant
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Peripheral arterial disease
As with other disabilities, your heart problem must prevent you from working for a minimum of one year. Your disability symptoms need to fit the criteria for one of the heart conditions listed in the Blue Book.
Chronic Heart Failure
This is the diagnosis when a patient’s heart has difficulty pumping blood through the body. When this happens, there is a backup of blood and fluid can build up in the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath.
Individuals who suffer from chronic heart failure may not be able to initiate, sustain or complete daily activities independently.
Ischemic Heart Disease
This occurs when the arteries harden due to a buildup of cholesterol plaque. This prevents the heart from getting enough blood flow and oxygen.
A heart attack can occur because of ischemic heart disease, which could lead to an individual’s decline in health, preventing him or her from working.
This is a term that encompasses a wide range of conditions that cause abnormal electrical activity in the heart. Although individuals with healthy hearts may experience arrhythmia, those who experience it repeatedly may qualify for benefits due to this being a more serious condition.
Symptomatic Congenital Heart Disease
These are individuals who were born with an abnormal heart condition that may affect their ability to work or conduct other daily activities independently.
There are many different types of congenital heart diseases, including the following:
- Aortic stenosis
- Pulmonary stenosis
- Bicuspid aortic valve
- Subaortic stenosis
- Coarctation of the aorta
- And more
Individuals who undergo a heart transplant may be eligible for SSD benefits for up to one year after the procedure. After the first year, there is a continuation of medical evaluation to determine whether the individual can resume work.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
This occurs when the veins in one’s legs do not allow the proper flow of blood from the legs to the heart. The valves in a person’s veins usually make it so that the heart can receive sufficient blood. However, if the blood is not flowing appropriately, it can cause the blood to pool in the legs.
Although the condition is not as severe as other cardiovascular conditions listed by the Blue Book, it can be disabling.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
This can occur in the extremities when there is a narrowing or blockage of vessels that carry blood from the heart to the arms and legs. It is mainly caused by fatty plaque buildup in the arteries.
PAD can cause pain in the legs from walking and usually subsides with rest, making it difficult to work in certain jobs.
Do Heart Stents Qualify for Disability?
Although having heart stents does not automatically qualify an individual for SSD benefits, it could help strengthen your case.
Individuals with coronary heart disease or other types of cardiovascular issues resulting in chronic heart failure may require the implanting of heart stents. Therefore, having stents does not make you eligible for benefits, but the underlying issue requiring the use of stents could qualify for SSD.
What Medical Records Do I Need to Qualify for Disability?
To qualify for SSD benefits for a heart condition, the SSA may require a physical examination and your past medical records. Usually, the SSA will look back at about 12 months of your records, unless you have been experiencing the condition for more than a year.
In some cases, the individual applying for benefits may qualify if he or she has experienced three or more ischemic episodes within a 12-month period.
For some heart conditions, a physical evaluation may not be possible due to the potential risks it poses to the person suffering from a cardiovascular disease. If your physician deems it a risk for you to undergo a physical examination, you may be able to qualify for benefits by showing an imaging test that demonstrates coronary artery disease or some other abnormalities in the heart that could result in a disability.
Can I Qualify Based on My Reduced Functional Capacity?
If you have a heart condition that does not entirely prevent you from working but does limit your capacity to work, you may qualify for SSD benefits under a Reduced Functional Capacity.
The SSA will review your medical records to determine how much your condition affects you. Once they determine the extent of your heart condition, they can assess whether you are able to do certain tasks that would not entirely prevent you from working.
Set Up Your Free Case Review. Call Us Today
If you suffer from a disabling heart condition, you should contact an attorney who can help you apply for SSD benefits.
With help from our experienced lawyers, you can focus on your health while we focus on the application and legal process. You do not need the added stress of applying for benefits.
We offer a free consultation and there are no upfront fees.
Call (877) 888-5201 today.