Proving You Have a Cardiac Condition That Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits

More than 92 million adults in the United States suffer from some form of cardiovascular condition or the after-effects of a stroke. However, not all conditions are eligible for Social Security disability.

According to the Social Security Administration, you may be eligible for Social Security disability if you have a cardiovascular condition that meets the criteria in the following Cardiovascular Disease and the Required Medical Documents and Reportsdefinition:

Any congenital or acquired disorder that affects the ability of the heart or circulatory system—that is, arteries, veins, capillaries, and the lymphatic drainage—to function properly.

In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, you must be able to prove that your condition meets the requirements in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments or that it is severe enough to prevent you from working.

How Are You Going to Prove Your Eligibility?

You are going to need to provide information, documentation, and evidence to support your Social Security disability application. That documentation includes:

Medical Test Results and Examination Reports

The Social Security Administration is looking for documentation such as:

  • Reports of medical history, physical examinations, and laboratory studies. This includes any and all documentation that explains what condition you have and how it was diagnosed.

  • Electrocardiograms (ECG). Detailed descriptions and copies of the original recording where your heart was monitored for abnormal electrical activity are required. Manipulated and averaged recordings or illegible copies will not be accepted, nor will abnormality rates that may have been caused by drugs (unless the drugs are documented within the report).

  • Exercise tolerance test (ETT). Reports documenting signs, symptoms, and abnormalities suffered while exercising are expected. Not only will this help the panel assess how much activity your heart can withstand, but it will also show signs of how much physical and mental stress it can handle.

  • Drug-induced stress tests. When you are unable to exercise enough to achieve optimum cardiac stress, your physician may suggest administering drugs to speed up your heart rate in order to get a proper stress level test result. Drug-induced stress tests can also provide evidence about heart chamber dimensions and function. These findings can help the panel better determine the severity of your ailment.

  • Doppler test. These tests are used to estimate your blood flow by bouncing sound waves (ultrasound) off your circulating red blood cells. This procedure will help document the efficiency of your heart as well as show any degeneration or blockages in your arteries which could be aggravated by excessive activities.

Medical Treatment

Your medical record should contain at least three months of treatment data. This includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Medicines that have been tried. This information should include whether the medication was effective and any side effects that were reported.

  • Surgeries or other procedures that have been tried. This should also include information about whether the procedures were effective and any side effects you suffered.

  • Any treatment options that were considered and rejected. The reasons for the rejection should be included.

Symptoms and the Effect of Those Symptoms on Your Life

Your Social Security disability application should also thoroughly describe how your cardiac condition impacts your life. This may include information about your:

  • Symptoms. Pain, fatigue, and other symptoms should be fully reported.

  • Functional limitations. How your symptoms impact your daily living activities should be fully reported. This could include, for example, lifting, walking, and bending.

  • Work impairments. Statements from your employer or co-workers about how your ability to do your job was affected by your medical condition may be useful to your application.

Getting the Help You Need Before You File

If you have a cardiac issue that is preventing you from properly doing your job, then you may be eligible for disability benefits. However, without knowing how to file, your chances of being denied are quite high.

Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your claim. We will not only make sure that you have all the necessary documentation, reports, and test results you need—we will make sure your claim is properly filed and assessed. It is your heart, but we want to help protect it.

Need more information about your disability rights? Download our free report, "Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability.In this report you can learn more about your rights, your claim options, and how our knowledge and experience can help you get the justice you deserve.

 

 

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer