Does Heart Disease Qualify for Disability? | SSI & SSDI

Does Heart Disease Qualify for Disability Benefits?

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Living with heart disease can profoundly impact every aspect of your life. It can make everyday tasks daunting and, most critically, make it challenging to maintain employment. This can leave you uncertain of how you’re going to pay bills and take care of yourself and your family. On top of everything, you’ll likely have to receive costly medical care for your condition.

At Slepian Ellexson, PLLC, we recognize the struggles faced by individuals dealing with heart disease. Issues like ischemic heart disease and heart failure can limit mobility, physical endurance, and cause numerous debilitating symptoms.

If your medical condition prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. These benefits offer crucial support to individuals suffering with disabilities. However, acquiring benefits can be difficult. This is true even if you have substantial proof that your medical condition limits your physical abilities.

Fortunately, our attorneys at Slepian Ellexson, PLLC dedicate themselves to guiding clients through the process of securing disability benefits. If you’re asking “Is heart disease a disability?” contact us today. With over 40 years of experience, you can depend on our knowledge of Social Security law.

How to Get Disability for Heart Disease

There are many impairments that can qualify a claimant for Social Security Disability benefits. Heart disease is one of the most common disabling conditions that we see when filing claims. However, that doesn’t mean they’re always readily approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Individuals with heart disease can qualify for Social Security Disability by meeting the SSA’s strict eligibility criteria. Understanding how heart disease qualifies for disability is a common concern for many claimants.

The SSA acknowledges several specific heart conditions as qualifying disabilities. However, any disease or injury that limits your ability to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) can qualify for SSD. For example, if you have a heart condition that isn’t considered a qualifying impairment on its own, you may still be eligible for disability benefits because of disabling effects on other body systems.

What Heart Conditions Qualify for Disability?

The SSA references the Blue Book when reviewing disability claims to help determine eligibility. Cardiovascular conditions, listed under section 4.00 in the Blue Book, include the following:

  • Chronic heart failure
  • Ischemic (coronary) heart disease
  • Recurrent arrhythmias
  • Symptomatic congenital heart disease
  • Heart transplants
  • Aneurysm of aorta or major branches
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Peripheral arterial disease

You must meet the qualifying criteria under one of these categories to receive disability benefits. However, as previously stated, the SSA also considers the seriousness of heart disease in general. If your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability if you have another type of heart disease. For example, you may qualify if you have an unlisted heart condition that requires treatment which causes debilitating symptoms.

How the SSA Evaluates Disability Claimants with Heart Disease

The SSA evaluates heart disease claims based on strict eligibility criteria for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Beyond the requirements specific to each program, this also includes medical evidence such as diagnostic tests (e.g., stress tests and ECG) and treatment records.

To qualify for benefits, you must demonstrate that your heart condition significantly limits your ability to perform work-related activities. The SSA will look for evidence of severe physical limitations, episodes of heart failure, symptoms like chest discomfort or shortness of breath, etc. This is why it’s crucial to provide medical records and comprehensive documentation supporting your claim.

VA Disability for Heart Disease

You can also get VA disability benefits for heart conditions. The VA will assess your eligibility based on the severity of your condition.

VA disability benefits are awarded to veterans who have sustained an injury or illness while serving in the military, or whose pre-existing condition was exacerbated by their service. To be eligible, veterans first must receive a disability rating assigned by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For example, you can receive VA disability for ischemic heart disease. Your benefits will directly correlate to the severity of your health condition and therefore, the VA’s disability rating system.

In order to qualify for VA disability benefits, you will have to provide substantial evidence supporting your claim. A disability attorney can help you increase your chances of receiving a favorable disability rating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to qualify for disability benefits for a heart condition if it resulted from lifestyle choices?

  • Yes. The cause of your heart disease does not affect eligibility. What matters is how it impacts your ability to work and whether or not you meet the SSA’s definition of disabled.

Can I qualify for Social Security Disability if I’m not receiving medical treatment for my heart condition?

  • Continuous medical treatment is essential to claim approval. The SSA needs to see that despite treatment, your condition prevents you from working. However, in some cases, if you don’t receive medical treatment the SSA may still find you disabled.

For example, if you have another impairment(s) that in combination with your heart condition equals a Blue Book listing in severity, you may be considered eligible. You may also qualify for disability based on an evaluation of your condition combined with your residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience.

Do heart stents qualify for disability benefits?

  • Possessing a heart stent does not automatically make you eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits. You must demonstrate that you suffer from chronic heart failure or another medical condition that prevents you from working.

Is coronary heart disease a disability?

  • Yes, the SSA considers coronary heart disease (CHD), or ischemic heart disease, a disability. You must meet the eligibility criteria under the associated Blue Book listing for ischemic heart disease to qualify for benefits.

Why Choose Slepian Ellexson, PLLC

We understand how hard it is to get disability for heart problems. Our legal team is committed to making the process as smooth as possible for our clients. Our knowledge of SSD and VA benefits makes us the ideal partner in your fight to obtain the financial assistance you need.

Choosing Slepian Ellexson, PLLC means choosing a team that cares deeply about your well-being. Let us help you take the first step towards a more secure future. With over 40 years of experience, our firm can help you navigate the challenges of securing disability benefits.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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