Can I Qualify for SSDI Benefits With Heart Disease?

While exercise, a good diet, and a positive outlook on life can slow the effects of aging and the toll that life takes on the human body, it cannot stop it. A simple fact of life is that one day we will have to give up our profession, trade, or other endeavors due to an illness, disease, or other impairment that makes work difficult or impossible. Few people look forward to the day where illness or injury forces one’s retirement, but for nearly a quarter of all workers, this represents the reality.

Luckily the federal government has recognized that workers can’t work forever. Many years ago it established the Social Security Disability Insurance program where workers pay into the fund during their working years. If the worker becomes injured, sick or otherwise unable to work, the worker can apply to draw on those funds to provide cash benefits.

However, the worker must be able to meet both the non-medical program requirements and the medical program requirements to receive benefits. To qualify, a benefits applicant must be able to prove the existence of a Listed Condition, a condition that is medically or functionally equivalent to a Listed condition, or that the worker qualifies for a medical-vocational allowance. Depending on the condition or conditions present, an applicant for benefits may be more likely to secure benefits through one means or another.

SSDI Benefits with Congestive Heart Failure?

A condition commonly associated with heart disease is congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump with an intensity sufficient to supply the body’s other organs with blood. When the heart fails to sufficiently perform this task, blood that is returning to the heart can back-up causing congestion.

Congestive heart failure is a fairly common condition with individuals over 40 having a nearly 20 percent chance of developing the condition. Congestive heart failure is typically diagnosed by a doctor during a physical examination. If the physician hears popping or cracking noises when he or she listens to you breathe, that can indicate that you have fluid on the lungs. If the doctor then proceeds to tap on your chest, he or she may be attempting to determine if the fluid has pooled or accumulated in the lungs.

To qualify for benefits on the basis of this listing alone, those affected by this condition must typically show the criteria for chronic heart failure. This means that the individual must, typically, be on a prescribe treatment regiment that is ineffective in controlling the condition. Furthermore, the applicant must be suffering from documented systolic failure and diastolic failure that creates at least one of the following signs or symptoms :

  • Persistent heart failure – Persistent symptoms of this condition that very seriously limit activities of daily living can qualify an individual for benefits. However the signs and symptoms must be medically or otherwise documented.
  • Episodes of acute heart failure – Three or more separate instances of acute heart failure events within a one-year period along with evidence of fluid retention can qualify an individual for benefits.
  • Inability to complete exercise test – If the benefits applicant cannot complete certain relevant tests due to fatigue, palpitations, contractions, drop in blood pressure or other medical reasons this may qualify the individual for benefits.

To be clear, this is not the only listing an individual with some form of heart disease can qualify for. Depending on the impairment affecting the individual they may also qualify under the listing for Ischemic heart disease, an arrhythmia, or an aneurysm. Even if the applicant does not qualify under the basis of a listing, the Social Security Administration still must consider the totality of the combined effects of all of the applicant’s impairments. If the applicant has numerous severe impairments that makes past work impossible to complete and alternate work is not available, then the applicant may qualify on the basis of a medical-vocational allowance. An experienced Fayetteville AR disability lawyer can explain all of the ways a benefits applicant can qualify.

Rely on our SSDI experience

For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak has fought for hard working north Arkansans who have had to stop work due to a serious impairment. Ken understands the difficulties that can come with stopping work. He is happy to listen first to your concerns and goals. After listening he is happy to clearly and concisely explain potential course of action available to you and how our Benton County SSDI lawyers may be able to help. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation, call us at (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.