Disability Benefits for Coronary Artery (Heart) Disease


DoctorCoronary artery disease can severely affect your ability to exert yourself so that you cannot work any job, which may help you qualify for Social Security disability.

Coronary artery disease, or CAD, is also known as ischemic heart disease. CAD is caused by the build-up of plaque, or fatty deposits, inside the coronary arteries, which is known as atherosclerosis. As plaque builds up, it causes the arteries to narrow and harden. The decrease in elasticity of the vessels does not allow them to expand and move blood that supplies oxygen to the heart muscle. The most common symptoms of coronary artery disease are chest pain or discomfort (angina) and shortness of breath. In severe cases, coronary heart disease puts sufferers at risk for a heart attack (myocardial infarction), especially when the workload of the heart increases during exertion.

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits With Coronary Heart Disease

To qualify for disability benefits for coronary artery disease, you will have to either meet the standards set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the SSA's listing for ischemic heart disease or demonstrate that your heart condition has so reduced your functional capacity that you cannot work.

The Symptoms Required in Order to Qualify for Disability:

Listing 4.04 states that you must have symptoms due to "myocardial ischemia," such as one of the following:

  • angina pectoris -- which is chest discomfort that is caused by activity or emotion, and quickly relieved by rest or fast acting medication, such as nitroglycerin tablets;
  • atypical angina --  pain or discomfort located in places other than the chest, such as the inner left arm, jaw, neck, back and upper abdomen;
  • "anginal equivalent" -- shortness of breath on exertion, but with no complaints of chest pain or discomfort
  • variant angina -- episodes of angina at rest due to spasm of a coronary artery, as evidenced by your heart’s rhythm on an EEG, or
  • silent ischemia -- the occurrence of myocardial ischemia or myocardial infarction without any pain or other symptoms.

In addition to the symptoms described above, Listing 4.04 also requires that you have one of the following -- an abnormal stress test, ischemic episodes, or abnormal imaging results.

Reduced Functional Capacity Due to Coronary Heart Disease

If you do not meet the requirements for coronary heart disease described above, you might still be eligible for disability benefits. The SSA must consider whether your heart impairment has reduced your capacity to work. If the SSA determines that you are unable to perform your past job or any other job, you may be found disabled.

Getting Legal Help

If you or a loved one needs to pursue a disability claim or wishes to discuss claim eligibility, give Disability Professionals a call at 855-201-9569 or email Disability Professionals  to set up your appointment today.




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