Every year, more than 870,000 Americans learn they have chronic heart failure. In fact, almost 6 million people in the United States suffer from some form of heart failure. If you currently suffer from a heart condition, you are not alone. At some point, your heart trouble might become a disability that prevents you from working. But does this type of medical condition allow you to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
The List of Impairments and Chronic Heart Failure
The Social Security Administration (Social Security) has developed a list of diseases and conditions that potentially qualify for disability benefits. The Listing of Impairments for Adults (the “Listing) consists of many conditions, including those related to the cardiovascular system.
According to the Listing, cardiovascular impairment is:
- Any disorder that affects the way the heart or circulatory system works; and
- A condition that results from signs of cardiovascular disease, including
- chronic heart failure,
- fainting due to inadequate flow from the heart,
- pain due to myocardial ischemia, and
- central cyanosis that reduces oxygen saturation.
If you have chronic heart failure – and it prevents you from working full-time – you may need to consider applying for SSDI benefits. An experienced disability attorney can help.
The Listing also contains detailed information about the proof needed to show that a medical condition is a disability. For example, someone with chronic heart failure might need the following types of medical evidence to qualify for SSDI:
Systolic failure that meets specific standards,
Persistent symptoms of heart failure that limit activities of daily living,
Three or more separate episodes of acute congestive heart failure within a consecutive 12-month period with additional symptoms
Inability to perform an exercise tolerance test to a certain level for heart-related reasons
Proving your chronic heart failure might not be difficult. But you must also meet some other requirements.
Social Security’s Definition of Disability
Social Security may ask questions about your ability to work while reviewing your application and supporting documents. Typically, Social Security staff will ask if your condition significantly limits your ability to do certain things, including:
- Are you able to walk upstairs or walk for ¼ miles;
- Are you able to stand or sit for at least 2 hours?
- Does your condition limit activities like lifting, sitting, standing, walking, and remembering? If so, will your condition last for at least 12 months?
You may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). Qualifying for this benefit is like qualifying for SSDI, except there is no work requirement. Also, SSI is a needs-based program. This means that SSI applicants must show financial need based on low income and limited resources.
Chronic Heart Failure Might Qualify for SSDI
But you will never know if you are eligible unless you apply. Since the application process is so difficult, it helps to have an experienced disability lawyer by your side.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have the experience and ability to take on your case. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients throughout Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.