Coronary Artery Disease: Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Written by John Horn. Posted in Blogs, Law Office News, Social Security Disability

If you suffer from coronary artery disease, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Coronary artery disease is the disease of the heart caused by fat and plaque buildup within the arteries of the heart. The buildup will harden and narrow the arteries which provide oxygen and blood flow to the heart.

If this happens, the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart will stop or slow significantly. Coronary artery disease can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart attacks. If you have significant symptoms, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The following are some things you need to know.

How Can You Qualify for Social Security Disability for Coronary Artery Disease?

The Social Security Administration provides a Listing of Impairments which lists the different disabilities that can make you eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. In this instance, the SSA wants to see if you meet Listing 4.04, which is ischemic heart disease.

The SSA will look at your condition and your symptoms and additional evidence to see whether or not you meet the conditions for having coronary artery disease.

If you have not been to a physician for your condition or if your symptoms have not persisted for a long period of time, the SSA may ask you to see a physician to evaluate your condition so that they can determine your eligibility.

Which Symptoms Qualify You for Social Security Disability Benefits?

According to Listing 4.04, you must have specific symptoms to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. This includes chest pain caused by physical activity that you remedy with nitroglycerin treatment or rest.

Another symptom is atypical angina. This is pain in places of your body aside from the heart, such as the left arm, neck, abdomen, or jaw. Shortness of breath, coronary spasms, and silent ischemia are other required symptoms. Silent ischemia refers to a heart attack with essentially no pain involved.

Additionally, you must have had abnormal stress test results, episodes of ischemia, or abnormal chest x-rays. The ischemic episode must require you to receive revascularization through bypass surgery or angioplasty.

What If You Do Not Have All of the Symptoms?

If your condition does not meet all of the requirements for Listing 4.04, you may still be able to get Social Security Disability benefits. The SSA will consider if your heart condition has prevented you from working at your normal occupation. If the SSA decides you can no longer do your job or any other job, they may determine that you qualify as disabled.

When making the decision, the SSA will look at all of your medical evidence to decide your residual functional capacity. A residual functional capacity is the greatest amount of work that you can do regularly with your medical condition.

The SSA will determine your ability to perform work activities, including sitting, standing, walking, and lifting. If the doctor says that you cannot stand for more than one hour per day because you get winded, the residual functional capacity will say that you can only do sedentary work.

Once the SSA determines your residual functional capacity, they will take this information and determine if you are able to do your previous job or any job at all. The SSA could decide that you qualify to do other types of work before they will award Social Security Disability.

If you have any questions about applying for Social Security Disability or if you need assistance with your case, please give us a call at Horn & Kelley, PC. We only work with Social Security Disability cases, so our full attention is on your needs. We will work hard to help you get approved for your disability benefits whether it’s for coronary artery disease or another disabling impairment.


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