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Heart Disease and Social Security Disability

Ischemic heart disease killed almost 600,000 people in the United States in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Stoke killed another 130,000. In addition to the deaths it causes, cardio-vascular disease leaves millions disabled throughout the world. Medical advances have meant that fewer people die from cardio-vascular disease than in the past, resulting in more people living with the condition. Heart disease and stroke are responsible for many early retirements and disability claims because patients can no longer work due to the illness. More than 720,000 people each year suffer heart attacks.

People with cardio-vascular disease that prevents them from working are eligible to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). According to the Social Security website, some of the conditions in this category include:

  • Chronic heart failure
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Recurrent arrhythmias
  • Symptomatic congenital heart disease
  • Heart transplant

In order to receive SSD benefits for these conditions, applicants must provide documentation that shows the degree of disability and efforts to treat the condition. Records can include reports of physical exams, lab studies, prescriptions, and reports of treatment response. In general, the records of treatment must cover at least three months. The SSA may wait even longer to make a determination because it may not be clear that the impairment will last more than twelve months. For example, people who have suffered recent heart attacks, undergone bypass surgery or started a new drug treatment may recover sufficiently after several months to return to work. Test results are also important when determining a patient's degree of disability. Commonly used tests include electrocardiogram (ECG) and exercise tolerance tests (ETT).

Because of the complexity of the documentation required, obtaining a decision from the SSA about a claim for cardio-vascular disease can be both time-consuming and frustrating. If this has been your experience, it's important to get help. Do what so many others in your situation have done: Turn to Binder & Binder®, the world's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Tell them your story and learn if they can help you get the benefits you need and deserve.

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