You’ve heard of it a million times before. Some call it, “the big one.” Others have termed it, “the widow maker.” Fortunately, a heart attack doesn’t have to be the end. In fact, roughly 90% of heart attacks are non-fatal. However, there is bad news. As prevalent as heart attacks may be, they’re only one type of heart problem.

There are many issues associated with the heart

Many people suffer from heart disease. Some people experience disability in the form of  Heart Failure or other heart diseases. As a result, many individuals must manage health conditions which may include heart irregularities and inadequacies. In rare cases, people may even need heart transplants. Overall, there are many reasons that people have heart problems.

Heart problems can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. You may have to take regular medication. You may have to monitor yourself. You may have extensive medical bills and treatment costs. You may even have to endure numerous hospital visits. Some people are completely unable to work and earn a living.

Heart Disease And Disability Benefits

This is why the Social Security Administration (SSA) is so important. The SSA is a federal government agency charged with administering a variety of benefits to qualified recipients, including persons who are disabled. To receive these benefits, individuals must apply. Such applications can be long and the process may be daunting.

Fortunately, expert disability lawyers can help. When applying for Heart Attack Disability Benefits, an applicant should have a general understanding of the SSA. The administration provides two programs for disability applicants. These include the SSDI and SSI programs.

Generally, the SSDI program is for disabled workers with a qualifying history of work. Typically, older workers must have longer work histories. The SSA will assign work credits for each disabled applicant. An applicant can earn as many as four work credits annually.

Heart Failure And Disability

Disability For Heart Problems

If you need disability benefits for your cardiac issues, you need to prove a total disability. A total disability is not a short-term or partial disability. It is a disability that is medically determinable. In other words, it is determined by medical professionals to be legitimate. A total disability is also severe and lasting. Most importantly, it is a disability that prevents the individual from engaging in significant work.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a total disability must:

  • Have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least a full year; or
  • Be expected to lead to imminent death; and
  • Prevent the applicant from engaging in the substantial gainful activity (SGA)

The SSA defines SGA as a monthly threshold. If you earn more than the allowed SGA amount, you are deemed ‘not disabled.’ The administration recognizes that many people struggle with health conditions. However, only severe medical conditions that significantly impact the ability to make a living can qualify as a disability. If your disability is partial, you have other options.

These are the primary reasons the SSA considers substantial gainful activity (SGA). Again, heart problems alone may not earn you benefits. To receive Heart Failure Disability benefits, an applicant must prove a severe and lasting condition. As serious as some heart problems may be, the SSA may still deny benefits. If your heart is not pumping enough blood for your body, you may be suffering from heart failure. Heart failure is a chronic condition that may qualify as a disability. A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked and there are different types. A person who suffers from a heart attack may experience a resulting disability from the event.

It is important that disability applicants understand that not all heart problems are directly related to heart failure or heart attacks. Nonetheless, the SSA will consider all heart problems under the same disability standards.

What Benefits Can I Claim After A Heart Attack?

Following a heart attack or any heart problem, an applicant should do two things. Firstly, a disability applicant should consult a medical professional. Secondly, a disability applicant should consult a top disability lawyer. A good attorney understands the specific SSA criteria, disability benefit application, and appeal process

The SSA uses a comprehensive listing of conditions called “the blue book.” All listings are organized based on the various types of medical conditions and disorders. Heart attacks and heart problems are considered impairments under “Section 4.00 Cardiovascular System.”

The SSA considers cardiovascular impairments any impairments that:

  • Affect the normal functioning of the heart or circulatory system. This includes any capillaries, veins, arteries, and lymphatic drainage.

Such conditions may also result from one or more consequences of heart disease

  • These consequences include chronic heart failure, for which Heart Failure Disability Benefits are often approved. Another consequence is discomfort and pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart. A third consequence is the loss of consciousness due to any cardiac problem. The fourth consequence is bluish discoloration due to lack of blood in the arteries.

Disorders and impairments of the veins and arteries are also included

The SSA will analyze the full body of medical evidence when making these determinations. In some cases, many other bodily organs may be affected. The SSA will evaluate more than merely the heart. Again, the whole circulatory system may be affected. In some cases, only certain parts are affected. Proving a cardiovascular impairment can be a complex and time-consuming process. Many conditions may apply.

What Heart Conditions Qualify For Disability?

Your lawyer will help you determine and prove whether your disability meets an SSA impairment listing. If you do not match a listing, your lawyer can help you try to prove that you have a disability that is ‘equal’ to a listing. This means that you have an impairment or condition that is medically equivalent in severity but not identical to those listed. If you do not have an ‘equal’ listing, you must prove that you are significantly impaired in your work ability.

Listed impairments include:

Chronic heart failure

  • Heart transplant(s)
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Aneurysm of the aorta or primary branches
  • Recurring arrhythmias
  • Symptomatic congenital heart disease
  • Peripheral arterial disease; and
  • Chronic venous insufficiency

Overall, there are numerous conditions associated with SSDI/SSI in regard to heart disease and the circulatory system. Your heart is the most important organ in your body, so if you’ve suffered a disabling heart condition, you deserve help. Contact our experienced lawyers at Khattar Law, PC to seek extended legal help. We have been helping disability claimants for more than 25 years now. So, we can handle complex disability claims without a problem. Book your first free consultation today!

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