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How Can You Prove Eligibility for SSDI or SSI Benefits With Coronary Heart Disease?


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Coronary heart disease is a serious medical condition that can impair your ability to work, carry out every day tasks, and live the type of life you want. While coronary heart disease is possible in any individual, it is most common in seniors and older Americans. The disease occurs when significant build-ups of fatty deposits – often referred to as plaques by medical professionals – lodge inside of a person’s arteries. As the amount of plaque increases, the flow of blood through the arteries is constricted to an increasing degree and the arteries will harden. This hardening of the arteries reduces the amount of blood-flow to the heart. This leads to the common complaints of shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pains made by suffers of coronary heart disease.

While the exact impacts and effects of the disease can vary from person-to-person, the condition is often extremely serious having a severe impact on one’s ability to carry out their daily tasks. Since coronary heart disease is a recognized as a serious and debilitating condition by the Social Security Administration and appears in the SSA’s Listed Conditions, this is the first method people can use to qualify. However, even if one cannot meet or equal the requirements set forth in the listing, a benefits applicant may also be able to qualify through what is known as a medical-vocational allowance.

Applicants Must Meet Non-Medical program Requirements for SSI or SSDI Benefits

Before considering the medical requirements that an applicant for SSI or SSDI benefits must satisfy, it’s first important to recognize that there are certain non-medical program requirements a worker must satisfy. For the Social Security Disability insurance program, the applicant must typically satisfy both a recent and an overall work requirement. This typically means that the worker has performed work where federal taxes were withheld from his or her paycheck. Older workers typically require more work, measured in work credits, than younger workers require. While the SSI program does not contain a work requirement, there are need-based limits on eligibility.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits Through a Listing

Individuals who wish to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits through a listed condition should consult listing 4.04 contained in the Cardiovascular System section of the listings. To prove the presence of the condition you will need to present more than a doctor’s diagnosis. You will need to present objective and longitudinal medical evidence of your condition and additional evidence regarding the condition’s impact on your life.

When ischemic heart disease is present and symptoms are present, there are a number of means the individual can use to prove the existence of the condition. For instance, Part C states that the applicant can prove coronary artery disease “demonstrated by an angiography” or other acceptable medical imaging tests. The test can be accompanied by a recent exercise tolerance test or drug-induced stress test or in the absence of these tests, a qualified medical opinion that the performance of these tests would be a danger to the patient and applicant.

There are other means that the individual can use to prove the existence of this condition and other listings that he or she may qualify under. An experienced Fayetteville AR disability lawyer can explain the applicant’s options.

Qualifying Based on Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) through a Medical-Vocational Allowance

If the applicant is unable to qualify at the listing stage of the benefits analysis process, he or she may still be able to qualify on the basis of what is known as a medical-vocational allowance. This means that while your severe impairment is severe, it does not qualify for a listing. However, you in light of the severity of your condition, your residual functional capacity (RFC) – meaning the things that you can still do despite your severe impairment — is limited and, perhaps extremely limited. In fact, your RFC when considered in light of your experience, age, and training makes you unable to work in your former industry or occupation or in alternate work. In these circumstances an benefits award is granted on the basis of a medical-vocational allowance.

Speak With an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer

For more than 20 years Ken Kieklak has helped people who have suffered injuries or developed illnesses apply for Social Security benefits. Ken takes a compassionate approach to your medical issues and understands the proof that the Social Security Administration is looking for. Since he always strives to submit all relevant and available medical evidence the first time, this may increase your chances of approval earlier in the process. To schedule a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with an experienced Fayetteville SSDI lawyer call (479) 316-0438 today or contact us online.

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