Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. As your doctor likely explained to you, coronary heart disease occurs when the small blood vessels that supply your heart with blood and oxygen narrow because of a buildup of plague. Plaque, or cholesterol-containing deposits, deprives the heart of blood and may cause angina (chest pain), shortness of breath, or even a heart attack.
Social Security Disability Eligibility
If you have coronary heart disease, then you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
One way to qualify for Social Security disability is to meet the requirements of a listing in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. Section 4.04 of the Blue Book Listing of Impairments describes how you may qualify for disability benefits if you have ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary heart disease. The listing requires that you have one of the following five conditions as evidenced by an abnormal stress test, abnormal imaging results, or three separate ischemic events within 12 consecutive months:
- Anginal equivalent or shortness of breath due to myocardial ischemia. An anginal equivalent typically occurs without pain or chest discomfort.
- Angina pectoris. Angina pectoris is chest pain or discomfort that is brought on by activity or emotion and that quickly goes away when you rest or take a fast-acting medication.
- Atypical angina. Atypical angina usually presents with pain or discomfort in body parts other than the chest. The pain may occur in the arm, jaw, neck, back or upper abdomen, for example.
- Silent ischemia. You can suffer from coronary heart disease without experiencing any pain, discomfort, or other symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with myocardial ischemia or myocardial infarction, then you may be eligible for benefits.
- Variant angina. If you experience angina episodes while at rest due to a coronary artery spasm, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits pursuant to Section 4.04 of the Blue Book.
If you have coronary heart disease, but you do not meet the exact requirements outlined in Section 4.04 of the Listing of Impairments, then you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you can prove one of the following:
- You meet the requirements of another Blue Book listing.
- Your condition is equal in severity to a specific section of the Listing of Impairments.
- You can’t work the job you had before you were diagnosed with coronary heart disease or any other job because of your medical condition.
Regardless of how you qualify for benefits, you must provide convincing medical evidence and a complete, honest, and accurate Social Security disability application before you can get the benefits that you’ve earned.
Other Disabling Conditions Caused by Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease can be disabling on its own, in the ways described above, or it can cause many debilitating conditions that might make it difficult for you to continue to work. Some of these conditions include:
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Peripheral artery disease
- Emotional issues with depression, fear, and anxiety
If you suffer from coronary heart disease and you are disabled as a result, then Social Security disability benefits may be an option for you.
Let Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Help You
Many initial Social Security disability applications are denied. A denial can cause a significant delay in your benefits and lead to unnecessary frustration and expense.
Don’t let a mistake on your Social Security disability application keep you from getting benefits as soon as possible. Instead, call a Boston area Social Security disability lawyer you can trust to help you apply for Social Security disability benefits. At Keefe Disability Law, we offer help with every step of the Social Security disability process, from the initial application to an appeal, if necessary. Call us today or fill out our contact form to have us contact you so that we can schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced legal team as soon as possible.