A cardiovascular disorder is any disorder that affects the ability of the heart or circulatory system to function properly. Generally, these are degenerative. This means that the victim’s condition worsens over time and can render him or her disabled.
If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or any other cardiovascular disorder that is keeping you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Contact Hardison & Cochran to learn more. A lawyer from our firm can review your case for free right away. We serve clients throughout North Carolina.
Common Cardiovascular System Disorders
Your body’s cardiovascular system primarily consists of your heart, blood vessels and the blood that the vessels transport. This is why a cardiovascular disorder can affect your entire body.
Among the potentially disabling disorders of the cardiovascular system are:
- Chronic heart failure – If you suffer a string of heart failures, you cannot do routine activities of daily living much less handle the demands of a job.
- Ischemic heart disease / coronary artery disease – This disorder involves reduced blood supply to the heart, or blockage, which can lead to a heart attack.
- Recurrent arrhythmias – This disorder involves an abnormal heart rhythm and is usually accompanied by hypertension, artery disease or another cardiac disorder.
- Aneurysm – An aneurysm of the aorta, or bulge in the wall of the blood vessel, is dangerous due to the amount of blood that could be lost if the aneurysm were to burst.
- High blood pressure / hypertension – If your blood pressure is chronically above 140/90, you have high blood pressure, which is often a secondary symptom of such disorders as renal disease, obesity or adrenal gland disorders.
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – This is a narrowing of the arteries in the extremities, which leads to limited blood flow to surrounding tissues, weakness, pain or numbness. If untreated, PAD can lead to stroke or heart attack.
- Heart transplant – Transplant patients are automatically considered disabled for at least one year after their surgery.
Can You Qualify for SSD Benefits with a Cardiovascular System Disorder?
The Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” lists impairments that considered severe enough to prevent an individual from working for a living. Each disorder has its own qualifying traits. Those who meet the eligibility criteria for a condition listed in the Blue Book should be awarded SSD benefits.
An application for Social Security Disability benefits must include medical records that establish the applicant’s disability. But even with this information provided, a benefits applicant may be required to undergo additional medical exams.
If you have ischemic heart disease, for example, you must meet one or more of the following to qualify for disability benefits:
- Coronary artery disease (demonstrated with an angiography, medical imaging and either an exercise test or medical documentation showing why an exercise test would be too dangerous to your health)
- Three distinct ischemic episodes, with each of them needing revasucularization (or in which revascularization is not possible)
- An exercise test which shows that you fall within the SSA’s guidelines for complete disability.
Are There Other Ways to Qualify for SSD Benefits with a Cardiovascular Disorder?
If the cardiovascular disorder that has disabled you is not specifically described in the Blue Book, you have the right to explain that you still deserve benefits. You will need to establish medically that your condition exists and show it has made you unable to perform the duties of your job for 12 months or more or is expected to keep your from working for a year or more.
When an individual has a disorder that is “medically-determinable” but not listed, or a combination of disorder symptoms not described in the Blue Book, the SSA will consider whether the individual’s disorder or combination of disorder symptom are medically equivalent in severity to a listed disorder or impairment.
In addition to records of medical exams and clinical testing of heart and other cardiovascular capacity, an SSD applicant should also show how their disability prevents them from performing their specific job.
A construction foreman, for example, could provide evidence of strength and stamina tests showing he cannot perform his job or even be reassigned to a nonsupervisory construction job.
Our North Carolina Lawyers Help Individuals Seek SSD Benefits for Cardiovascular Disorders
An experienced attorney who knows the Social Security Disability system and the state-run Disability Determination Services (DDS) in North Carolina can help you to submit your claim for disability benefits or assist in an appeal if your initial claim was denied.
At Hardison & Cochran, our lawyers’ goal is to obtain the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible. We will review your case for free. Simply call or contact us online today to get started.
For More Information
• Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, Cardiovascular Disorders – Adult,
Social Security Administration