Can Individuals with Coronary Artery Disease Qualify for SSD?
Heart disease is a massive problem in the United States. Depending on the type of heart condition you have, it could cause a serious issue with your longevity, quality of life, and independence. If you suffer from coronary artery disease and have experienced issues staying active in the workforce as a result, you could be entitled to SSDI benefits.
The process of getting SSDI can be overwhelming and isolating, especially if you experience denial the first time. That’s where we can help. With a disability attorney, you can navigate this process with ease. Call The Dansby Law Firm at 334-326-6449 to schedule a consultation with our SSDI attorneys.
What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease is relatively common in the United States, affecting over 20 million adults over the age of 20. This condition has the potential to become very serious, as it may eventually lead to heart failure. CAD occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. As plaque builds up, blood flows much less efficiently. The heart has to pump harder and harder to get less and less blood. The heart muscle weakens and may fail.
It’s obvious how CAD could limit your ability to work. When your heart is already working too hard and still not getting the blood it needs, putting more stress on it by engaging in physically demanding work is incredibly risky. However, even when it seems obvious that you should qualify for SSDI, the SSA doesn’t always look at it the same way.
Qualifying for SSDI Benefits
One way you may be able to qualify for SSDI benefits is by meeting the qualifications listed in the Listing of Impairments, better known as the Blue Book. Under listing 4.04, you’ll find the requirements to receive benefits for ischemic heart disease. Symptoms must persist while on a regimen of prescribed treatment.
You must meet one of these qualifications:
- Symptom-limited exercise tolerance test showing one of three test patterns indicating an inability to work even with a low workload
- Three ischemic episodes, each of which requires revascularization in a 12-month period
- Coronary artery disease as demonstrated by angiography or another type of medical imaging—this option requires that you meet specific requirements regarding how much of each coronary artery is blocked
Even if you do not meet the qualifications this way, you may be able to get benefits via an RFC assessment. An RFC assessment looks at your “residual functional capacity,” or your ability to perform certain tasks for a set period of time. If your RFC assessment shows that you are unable to work, the SSA may approve your application.
Gathering Medical Documentation
When you apply with coronary artery disease or any other disabling condition, it’s important to provide as much documentation of your condition as possible. The SSA is extremely rigorous in its review of applications, and any missing information or question about your limitations will lead to a denial. In fact, the majority of applications are denied the first time around. While you can appeal, it’s worth spending a little extra time on your initial application to avoid unnecessary delays.
You will want to include all of your diagnostic tests, including any reports or insights from your treating physicians. You should also include evidence of your treatment plans, as well as documentation covering how well your condition responded to them.
Don’t forget to document how the diagnosis has affected your work. If you have ever had to leave work early, call out unexpectedly, or take light duty because of your condition, bring proof from your employer. If you have used up your sick days as a result of your diagnosis, you may also want to include that information.
As a general rule, it’s better to include more information than to risk including too little. Working with a disability attorney helps you feel confident that you are submitting the right evidence.
Contact The Dansby Law Firm Now
If your coronary artery disease has limited your ability to work and provide for your family, make sure you have the legal help you need as you pursue benefits. Call The Dansby Law Firm at 334-326-6449 or send us a message online to find out how we can help.