How To File For Heart Disease Social Security Benefits
Heart disease affects millions of Americans each year, and unfortunately, in many cases it prevents people from carrying out the tasks that they need to accomplish in everyday life. If heart disease, or coronary artery disease, is stopping you from working and supporting yourself and your family, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits, which provide you with government assistance due to your disability.
How do I know if I’m eligible to receive benefits due to my heart disease?
In order to receive Social Security Disability Benefits, most people have to meet the definition of a “heart disease disability” put forth by the Social Security Administration. This definition includes several symptoms, at least one of which you must experience. These include chest pain stemming from exercise or emotion (angina pectoris), discomfort in other areas of your body (atypical angina), difficulty breathing as the result of exertion (anginal equivalent), coronary artery spasms (variant angina) or an obstruction in your arteries that may not cause any obvious symptoms (silent ischemia). The last two can be proven by medical tests such as an electrocardiograph (ECG), but in general the SSA requires that all of symptoms have medical documentation to back them up.
In addition to having at least one of these symptoms, the SSA also requires that you have either an abnormal stress test, at least three separate “ischemic episodes” (or mini-strokes) within 12 months, or abnormal imaging results. A stress test tests how well your body is able to perform work, and abnormal results would show that your heart disease is preventing you from working.
If you do not meet these requirements, you may still be eligible for benefits if you can prove that your disability is preventing you from working at your full capacity. The SSA will use the information that you provide to determine your residual functional capacity (RFC), which would show whether you are able to perform your former job or if there is an easier job that you could do. If not, you may qualify for benefits.
How do I file a claim?
You can fill out an application with your local SSA office or on the SSA’s official website. You will have to provide documentation of your disability, including doctors’ notes and hospital records. If you are unsure how to proceed, you can contact an attorney who will help you make sense of the application process.