Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits with a Cardiovascular Disease?

According to Census data from 2010, approximately 56.7 million people in the United States report having a disability.  In other words, almost one in five Americans are disabled.  With almost 20% of the country’s population living with some form of disability, many have wondered the same question: could my disability qualify me to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration?  This week, our Pennsylvania disability lawyers are kicking off the first installment of a blog series that will take a look at some of the major categories of disabilities — and how the SSA evaluates them.  In our inaugural entry, we’ll answer the question: can I qualify for disability benefits with a cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular Diseases and Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania

The cardiovascular system is also referred to as the circulatory system.  Whichever term you prefer, the function of this crucial anatomical system is the same: efficiently pumping substances around your body.

While the cardiovascular system is primarily associated with blood and the heart, it also circulates lymph, oxygen, and hormones.  Additionally, the cardiovascular system is responsible for regulating homeostasis and body temperature.

Cardiovascular disease can manifest as numerous conditions, and can affect the heart, veins, arteries, capillaries, or lymph.

Heart Conditions That Qualify for Disability Benefits

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2011, heart disease caused 597,689 deaths — more than cancer, stroke, or diabetes.  However, there are numerous subcategories of heart disease.

Under Section 4.00 of the official Listing of Impairments, the SSA may consider all of the following heart conditions as qualifying conditions for disability benefits:

  • Chronic Heart Failure (Systolic, Diastolic)
  • Congenital Heart Disease (Cyanotic, Acyanotic)
  • Ischemic Heart Disease (Myocardial Ischemia)
  • Recurrent Arrhythmias (Note: “Not related to reversible causes.”)

Unfortunately, simply having one of these conditions is not automatically “enough” to guarantee disability benefits.  The SSA also requires that:

  1. Your condition has lasted (or will last) for at least one year.
  2. Your condition is severe enough to prohibit you from working.

In addition to these heart conditions, the SSA will also consider a heart transplant as a potential qualifier for disability benefits, provided the applicant submits their claim within one year of receiving the transplant surgery.

What Vascular Conditions Qualify Me for Disability?

While cardiovascular disease is most often associated with a heart condition, the veins and arteries can also be affected by illness.  Under the SSA’s Listing of Impairments for the cardiovascular system, the following additional conditions may qualify you for Pennsylvania disability benefits:

  • Aneurysm of an Aorta (or other major branches)
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease

Call Our Disability Lawyers in Pennsylvania Today

If you would like to arrange a free case evaluation with one of the highly experienced Philadelphia disability attorney at Young, Marr & Associates, call our law offices at (609) 557-3081 in New Jersey or (215) 515-2954 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online today.