Tag Archives: disability benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does allow disability benefits for coronary heart disease, as well as for several types of common heart problems and diseases. Keep in mind that the focus of SSA disability is a work-based focus, meaning they look at whether your ability to work is impacted by your heart disease.

Disability Benefits for Coronary Heart Disease

With coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease (CAD), your heart has reduced capacity; the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen to work effectively, so pumping is compromised.

SSA does need medical evidence of your CAD. Common tests include EKGs, cardiac imaging tests and exercise stress tests. All of these tests measure your heart’s condition to pump. The SSA also wants to see physician notes about any restrictions your doctor has you on, such as limiting exertion, exercise or heavy lifting. These test results are very important to the SSA in making their determination, so include everything possible for as long of a history as you possibly can. For example, evidence of an EKG will show lack of oxygen to the heart muscle, and results of a treadmill exercise tolerance test (ETT) (stress test) will show how much exertion you can do before having chest pain or shortness of breath. The SSA has very specific guidelines for disability, including the number of ischemic attacks you’ve had in the last year, values for the ejection fraction in your heart, and a specific level of result for the stress test.

All of this evidence will be factored in to determine your work ability. Basically, SSA will determine if there are any jobs you can do. They’ll evaluate your current work, your age and your education into this equation.

The SSA maintains a listing of disabilities called the Blue Book, and there are several heart conditions that qualify:

· Coronary heart disease (ischemia) caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle

· Chronic congestive heart failure involving compromised pumping action

· Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm)

· Aneurysms in the aorta

· Venous insufficiency in which the leg veins cannot pump enough blood back up to the heart

· Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) caused by obstruction of large arteries in the legs

Coronary heart disease is usually evaluated in its own category, but CAD can lead to other issues like congestive heart failure, so your case might be evaluated under that category. However, most people are evaluated under the ischemic heart disease category, particularly if you’ve had a heart attack. Note that SSA no longer has a disability category for high blood pressure (hypertension). Instead, if you have hypertension, SSA will evaluate you under the category that caused the high blood pressure.

CAD makes it difficult for many adults to work. If you don’t automatically qualify for disability benefits for coronary heart disease under the SSA Blue Book listing, you could qualify under a residual functional capacity (RFC) category. The SSA will rate you on the type of work they think you can do, considering all your medical evidence. These categories range from sedentary to heavy work. If your doctor has imposed strict limitations on your exertion, you might only qualify for sedentary work. If there are no jobs in your company that you can do, then you may qualify for disability benefits this way. People over age 55 with little education have the best chances at qualifying for the medical vocational allowance under the RFC ruling.

You can file for disability online at ssa.gov, or you can go to your nearest SSA center. Filing can be complicated and many people are initially denied for lack of compelling medical evidence. That’s why many people choose to hire a law firm like ours. We can help you find the right category for filing, and make sure the SSA has all the evidence they need to make their determination regarding your disability benefits for coronary heart disease.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has numerous guidelines and criteria that must be met when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit compensation. All too often, many applicants do not read over their application paperwork carefully, do not follow the proper process for verifying their medical condition, fail to provide adequate medical documentation. or miss mistakes they have made on the application that disqualify them for benefits. In order to ensure that your application is more likely to be approved the first time, here are the 5 most common mistakes applicants should avoid when applying for SSDI benefits.

Social security claiming mistakes

#1 Mistake: Filing for Disability While Still Employed

There isn’t a rule on the book that forbids you from applying for SSDI while you are still on the job, but it definitely will not improve your chances of approval if you decide to do so. Your purpose for applying for SSDI is because you are unable to perform any substantial gainful work in order to support yourself. Earning income while applying for SSDI essentially invalidates your claim that you can’t work because you are in fact working. This reduces the statistical likelihood of your being approved to near zero.

#2 Mistake: Applying for SSDI Too Soon

Qualifying for SSDI depends upon your disabling condition being projected to last for at least a year or longer. Applying for benefits without an established treatment history and documentation of being medically unfit to work makes it exceptionally difficult to prove that you are in fact suffering from a long term or permanently disabling condition. Many Social Security Examiners who find your history is less than a year may assume that your condition may improve with treatment before you can qualify for SSDI. You should only apply for benefits after it has been established via diagnosis and prognosis by a physician that your condition will last for a year or more.

#3 Mistake: Believing the Consultative Exam Provides All Necessary Proof

In order to prove that you are in fact disabled, you need a sufficient medical history of clinical diagnosis and treatment in order to qualify or be approved. The initial consultative exam required by the SSA will not provide sufficient medical evidence.

#4 Mistake: Not Following Doctor’s Prescribed Treatments

Some applicants refuse treatment because they believe it will affect the severity of their condition when applying for benefits. One of the first things a Social Security examiner will verify is your treatment history for your disabling condition and your response to treatment. If you are not following the recommended treatment plan as written by your doctor, your application can be denied. Be smart, and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

#5 Mistake: Trying to Appeal an SSA Decision Without Legal Representation

Hire a disability attorney if you are going to appeal your denied application. Attorneys who specialize in disability law and SSA policy and processes significantly improves your chances of having a decision changed during the appeals process. Trying to assemble an appeal on your own with little or no knowledge of how the SSA appeals process works is a recipe for disaster.

If you are a DC or Baltimore resident in need of representation for an SSA decision hearing, consider contacting the law offices of Fred S. London, P.C.. He and his trained staff will set you up with a consultation to review your case and determine how to best approach your appeal. Contact Fred S. London’s offices today for more details