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SSD and Heart Conditions

SSD and Heart Conditions

Every year, over 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to newly developed heart disease in adults, many children are born with heart defects. It is estimated that over 1 million children and 1.4 million adults have a congenital heart defect. Heart disease or a heart defect can affect your ability to perform certain occupations, as such, some heart conditions will qualify you to receive Social Security disability benefits.

SSD Qualifying Heart Defects

There are some heart conditions that will typically qualify an applicant for SSD benefits per the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. Common heart conditions that may allow you to receive SSD benefits include:

  • Chronic Heart Failure: Chronic or congestive heart failure is a serious condition that can lead to disability. You will need to undergo medical tests to measure the flow of blood from your heart. To qualify for benefits, your heart needs to be performing at 30 percent capacity. You will also need to demonstrate pain.
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Chronic venous insufficiency impacts the ability of the heart to pump blood from the legs back to your heart. This may result in painful ulcers that could qualify you for benefits should the condition continue for over three months.
  • Ischemic Heart Disease: Problems within your arteries can lead to ischemic heart disease. This condition causes poor oxygen flow to the body, which may have lasting physical effects.
  • Heart Arrhythmias: Arrhythmias cause erratic heartbeats. If the condition leads to dizziness and frequent fainting spells, it may entitle you to benefits.

It is important to note that a heart attack, while a traumatic event, will not alone qualify you for SSD benefits. Many heart attack survivors will go on to live for many disability free years after the heart attack. As such, the SSA will require a showing of more than a heart attack. You will need to demonstrate a heart condition within the Listing of Impairments and show that the heart condition has limited your ability to work. Often, the SSA will wait to decide your claim until several months after your heart attack to assess your recovery.

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