When Coronary Heart Disease Keeps You From Working You May Qualify for Benefits

In the year 2010, Americans who suffered diseases of the circulatory system accounted for 9.5% of all Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefit payments. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is one of the most serious of these circulatory system disorders.

If you suffer from coronary heart disease, no one needs to tell you how disabling it can be. As Social Security disability lawyers, we see many people with this condition who qualify for and deserve benefits. Perhaps you are one of them.

Coronary heart disease is, basically, a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply your heart with blood and oxygen. This narrowing is caused by the buildup of plaques in the vessels. Plaques, or cholesterol-containing deposits, deprive the heart of blood and may cause angina (chest pain), shortness of breath or even a heart attack. Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of death for all American women and men. 

Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors 

There are many risk factors for CHD. Some are unavoidable, and some you can control. Here are some of the most common unavoidable risks:

  • Aging: As you age, your risk increases.
  • Sex: Men tend to develop CHD more frequently than women overall.
  • Genetics: If you have family members with CHD, you may be more likely to develop it.
  • Race: Generally, American Indians, Mexican Americans, African Americans, Hawaiians and some Asian Americans have increased risk.

None of the above risks are avoidable, but here are some that you can work to control in your life:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • Excessive stress, lack of exercise, and depression
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Substance abuse

Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease

If you suspect that you may suffer from CHD, you need to see a doctor immediately. It is even possible to have this disease and not know it, so regular physical exams are always a good idea. However, there are some symptoms that are typical.

  • Angina is the most common symptom. Angina can range from an uncomfortable feeling that there is something heavy on your chest, to severe pain. This pain can be felt in the upper back, arms, stomach, and/or under the breastbone.
  • Fatigue is another common symptom. It can be accompanied by shortness of breath, especially when exercising. 
  • Women and older people can have different symptoms. These include weakness, fatigue and poor breathing.

Disabling Conditions Caused by CHD

CHD can bring with it many debilitating conditions that might make it difficult for you to continue to work. Some of these conditions are:

  • Heart failure.
  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Aneurysm.
  • Peripheral artery disease.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Emotional issues with depression, fear and anxiety.

If you or a loved one suffers from coronary heart disease and has become disabled as a result, the SSA offers benefits for those who qualify. This type of assistance has helped many people like you continue to pay their bills and live life. 

Call a Boston Social Security disability lawyer you can trust to help you apply for SSA benefits. At Keefe Disability Law, we offer help with every step of the SSA disability process, from the initial application to an appeal, if necessary. Call us today toll free at 888-904-6847 to see what we can do for you.


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