Disability Benefits for Long-Term Cardiac Problems Caused by COVID-19

COVID long-haulers have a lot to worry about as they recover from the acute viral infection. Brain fog, fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint aches, and other lingering issues may Woman Holding Her Hand Over Her Heart in Distresssignificantly impact your quality of life. Additionally, organ damage, including heart problems, may significantly impact your quality of life and longevity.

Researchers are still investigating all of the possible cardiac conditions COVID-19 patients may suffer. However, as of March 2021, research indicates that COVID-19 may cause heart muscle damage that increases the risk of heart failure, blood clots or blood vessel problems that may increase the likelihood of heart attacks and atrial fibrillation.

Social Security Disability for Chronic Heart Failure

A person with symptomatic chronic heart failure that meets certain medical standards despite treatment may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

According to Section 4.02 of the Listing of Impairments, you must present medical evidence confirming the severity of your condition and suffer from one or more of the following:

  • Persistent symptoms of heart failure that very seriously limit your ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete daily living activities.
  • Three or more separate episodes of acute congestive heart failure within 12 consecutive months with evidence of fluid retention requiring acute extended medical intervention.
  • Inability to perform on an exercise tolerance test at a workload equivalent to 5 METs or less.

Alternatively, you may qualify for benefits if your condition is equal in severity to another Blue Book listing, you cannot work, or your chronic heart failure is likely to cause your death.

Social Security Disability for Heart Attacks

You may not qualify for Social Security disability because you have an increased risk of suffering a heart attack. However, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you suffer a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, and you can no longer engage in substantial gainful activity because of health complications or restrictions following your heart attack.

Heart attacks do not have their own listing in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments. Still, there are several ways to qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you have a heart attack and you won’t be able to work for at least 12 months, or your cardiac condition is likely to result in your death. Specifically, you may qualify for benefits if you:

  • Meet the Blue Book requirement for chronic heart failure (Section 4.02)
  • Meet the Blue Book requirement for ischemic heart disease (Section 4.04)

Alternatively, you may prove that your condition is equal in severity to one of the conditions included in the Blue Book or that you lack the residual functional capacity to continue to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Social Security Disability for Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation, sometimes referred to as AFib, is a type of heart arrhythmia. Sometimes AFib can be managed with medications or a pacemaker and a person with this condition may continue working. However, other times atrial fibrillation progresses to the point where it is irreversible, uncontrolled, recurrent, and causes fainting or near-fainting episodes that interfere with a person’s ability to work.

With proper documentation, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits pursuant to Section 4.05 of the Listing of Impairments.

Alternatively, you may use medical documentation to prove that AFib is equal in severity to another Blue Book Listing, prevents you from working for at least 12 months, or is likely to result in your death.

Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer If You Can’t Work After COVID-19

If your COVID-19 infection causes you to be unable to work for at least 12 months or is likely to result in your death, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

However, even with your recent diagnosis from the coronavirus infection that caused a worldwide pandemic, you must still submit a complete application to the Social Security Administration or risk having your application denied.

Our experienced Boston area Social Security disability lawyers can review your claim and help you submit a strong disability application, if appropriate. We encourage you to seek counsel as soon as possible and not to take on the added stress of handling your own Social Security disability application. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

 

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