Social Security Disability and Heart Disorders
SSD & Heart Disorders
The human heart is one of the busiest muscles in the body. From the day it forms in a developing fetus until death, the heart never stops pumping, circulating blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body. Since proper heart function keeps the brain and body alive, heart disorders – when the heart stops working properly – can cause serious disabilities.
The federal Social Security Administration (SSA) provides Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to many Americans whose heart disorders prevent them from working long-term or are expected to result in their deaths. The SSA’s guide to Disability Evaluation Under Social Security or “Blue Book” devotes an entire section to heart disorders and the disabilities they can cause.
Heart Impairment Conditions
A person may qualify for SSDI benefits whether the heart is affected specifically, the condition affects the arteries, veins, capillaries, or lymphatic system, or both. Common conditions that frequently lead to a finding of disability include:
- Chronic heart failure, which can cause conditions like chronic pain, arrhythmias, or heart dysfunction that impairs oxygen circulation;
- Ischemic heart disease;
- Recurrent arrhythmias;
- Symptomatic congential heart disease, or any condition a patient is born with that actually impairs his or her functioning;
- Heart transplant;
- Aneurysms in the aorta (the large artery leading out of the heart) or any of its major branches;
- Chronic venous insufficiency, in which the veins can’t get enough blood back to the heart or lungs; and
- Peripheral arterial disease, a condition that affects arteries in the arms, legs, and other areas not directly attached to the heart.
Evaluating Heart Conditions in Los Angeles
When determining whether your heart disorder qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits, the SSA will typically look at your medical records, including doctors’ notes, test results, and records from any surgeries you may have had. The SSA also looks to see which treatments you have received and how they’ve affected you or your heart condition.
Because many heart conditions get better or worse over time, the SSA specifies that in most heart-disorder situations, its reviewers want to see “longitudinal” records, or medical records that span at least three months. However, some heart conditions – like problems stemming from a sudden heart attack – cause serious disabilities with no prior warning, meaning that a patient might not have months of medical records to send to the SSA.
Fortunately, not having a history of heart problems doesn’t automatically disqualify you from receiving disability payments. The SSA will review whatever medical information is available and ask for additional information if it’s needed.
You do not need to wait three months in order to apply for disability benefits related to a heart condition, and you should not wait to seek the benefits you need.
Compassionate Support & Effective Guidance
Learning that you have a heart condition can be frightening, especially when your first warning is a serious cardiac event, but you don’t have to face it alone. At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, our knowledgeable Los Angeles Social Security disability attorneys are dedicated to helping disabled people and their families get the benefits they need. For a free, confidential consultation, contact our office today.