The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies heart disease as a leading cause of death in the United States, which can be somewhat misleading. “Heart disease” actually refers to several medical conditions that may impair how the cardiovascular system functions. For example, coronary artery disease refers to restricted blood flow caused by plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries.

If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition affecting your heart that limits your ability to work, you may be eligible for a heart disease disability benefit through the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs pay a long-term disability benefit in the form of a monthly payment and medical insurance coverage through Medicare for individuals qualifying for SSDI and Medicaid for those qualifying for SSI.

The information that follows explains the process to qualify for Social Security disability when heart disease prevents you from engaging in work activities for at least 12 months or is expected to result in death. An experienced disability lawyer from NY Disability can review your claim and help you file an application for long-term disability through SSI or SSDI or appeal the denial of a previously submitted claim.

What heart conditions qualify for a disability benefit?

An application for disability benefits for heart disease goes through a process that includes five steps to determine whether you qualify for benefits. One of the steps looks to the Listing of Impairments compiled by the Social Security Administration to assist its examiners in determining whether an impairment is severe enough to qualify for SSD.

The Listing of Impairments, which is also referred to as the “Blue Book,” describes medical conditions for each system of the body that Social Security considers as being severe enough to prevent a person from engaging in gainful activities. If the medical condition affecting your heart matches one in the listing, the likelihood is that the SSA will determine that you have a qualifying disability that entitles you to receive either SSI or SSDI benefits.

Blue Book impairment listings for heart disease

The Listing of Impairments includes several related to the cardiovascular system. The information, including results of diagnostic testing and a physician’s clinical findings, will determine whether your heart impairment fits within one of the following categories found in the Listing of impairments:

  • Ischemic or coronary heart disease.
  • Aneurysm.
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency.
  • Peripheral arterial disease.
  • Heart transplant due to heart failure or severe coronary heart disease.
  • Recurrent abnormal heart rhythm causing loss of consciousness.
  • Symptomatic congenital heart disease.

A disability benefits lawyer from NY Disability can review your claim for Social Security disability to determine whether it matches one of the heart disease categories in the Listing of Impairments. The lawyer will help you file an application for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs.

Working with a NY Disability lawyer means that someone with long-term disability knowledge and experience will help to ensure that your application is supported by the medical evidence needed to prove that you have a disability brought on by heart disease that meets the requirements to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, including results of electrocardiograms, stress tests, and other testing ordered by your doctors along with statements from them based on their clinical findings over the course of treating your heart condition.

Heart disease that does not match a listing impairment

It is not uncommon for someone to have a serious heart condition that does not match or medically equal to a Blue Book impairment. Social Security uses a multi-step evaluation process to determine whether your application establishes the existence of a disability caused by a medically determinable physical or mental impairment. Matching a listed impairment is only one of the steps in the process.

If your heart condition does not match or medically equal a listed impairment, Social Security continues the application review process to determine whether your medical condition impairs your ability to engage in substantial gainful activities. Activities taken into consideration include walking, standing, sitting, climbing stairs, lifting, remembering instructions, and other activities that would limit your ability to work.

Social Security looks at the activities that your medical condition allows you to perform to determine whether you can engage in any type of work that you did prior to becoming disabled. It also looks to determine whether your age, education and skills would permit you to engage in a type of work that you had not done in the past.

Get help from an experienced disability lawyer

The experienced disability lawyers at NY Disability know that someone with serious heart disease may also have other medical conditions contributing to their disability. Diabetes, obesity and even anxiety disorders may be additional factors that need to be included in an application for disability benefits or when appealing the denial of a claim. Learn more about how we can help you by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation with our disability lawyer.