If you have suffered a heart attack that has significantly impacted your ability to function and keeps you from working, you might be able to recover Social Security Disability benefits. Disability benefits are overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Just a heart attack by itself usually doesn’t qualify for disability benefits.
The lasting impairments caused by coronary disease, however, might warrant approval for monthly benefits. If a heart attack and coronary disease keep you from working, consult with a Social Security advocate or attorney for help filing a successful disability benefits claim.
How Does A Heart Attack Qualify For Disability Benefits?
While the heart attack itself does not warrant disability benefits, coronary heart disease that results from the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries might result in ongoing symptoms that lead to benefits approval. The plaque causes the arteries to narrow or harden while causing stopped or slowed blood flow to the heart. Common symptoms caused by the condition include shortness of breath and chest pain. Heart attacks can result from coronary heart disease.
Whether or not you are eligible to receive disability benefits depends on the severity of your symptoms. Coronary heart disease is listed in Section 4.04 of the Blue Book. It indicates you must have symptoms caused by myocardial ischemia.
Those symptoms could include one of these:
- Variant angina, which are episodes of angina at rest caused by the spasms of a coronary artery
- Anginal equivalent, which doesn’t include chest pain but does cause shortness of breath on exertion
- Atypical angina, which is discomfort or pain beyond the chest, such as the upper abdomen, inner left arm, back, and/or neck
- Angina pectoris, chest pain or discomfort that is relieved by rest but caused by activity or emotion
You must also have one of the following:
- Ischemic episodes
- Abnormal imaging results
- Abnormal stress test
How Can an Attorney Help Me While Applying?
A successful disability claim requires extensive documentation. Your attorney will make sure all your medical records and other documentation are in order and are accessible. When Disability Determination Services review your claim, you want them to readily find the documentation that shows how your health affects your ability to function and why you are unable to work.
Thorough medical records, including surgical notes, lab results, scan results, x-rays, stress test reports, and physician notes will be necessary for an accurate determination to be made.
How Can An Attorney Help Me If My Claim Is Denied?
Claims are often denied, but usually it is because of a lack of documentation being readily available. Your attorney will appeal the decision and make sure your case is fairly considered. An administrative law judge will conduct a hearing regarding your claim. During this hearing, a vocational expert will question you regarding your condition and how it impacts you. Your attorney will know what kinds of questions you will be asked and can help you prepare.
In this situation, you might be asked, “How easily do you become tired?” “How long can you stand before getting too fatigued?” “Are you allowed to lift, pull or carry items and if so, what is the weight limit?”
Connect With an Attorney Today
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to get connected with a local Social Security attorney or advocate. With help, you can make sure all documentation is in order and build a stronger case.