It’s not easy to get approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) for heart disease. In Atlanta, many heart disease patients with a legitimate disability are turned away and denied benefits. Often these patients are unable to work and getting Social Security benefits is the only way they can contribute to their family’s wellbeing. If you cannot work because of your heart disease, you should know that it is possible to be approved. You should speak to an Atlanta SSDI lawyer immediately.
John Foy & Associates can help. We have 20 years of experience helping people with debilitating conditions including heart disease. We have dedicated our law practice exclusively to helping the injured, the disabled and those suffering from painful illnesses. When you call us, we will offer you a free, no obligation consultation on your SSDI application. Often we can take one look at your paperwork and see what’s missing to get you approved. Call John Foy & Associates at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
Does heart disease qualify for SSDI benefits in Atlanta?
Yes. We’ve seen many individuals with heart disease get approved for SSDI. This includes SSDI applications that involve only a cardiovascular condition, and those where other conditions are involved as well.
To evaluate SSDI requests, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a comprehensive list of medical conditions that can cause disabilities. Section 4 of this document includes a long list of cardiovascular conditions, including heart disease, heart failure, aneurysm, arterial disease and more. However, simply having these conditions does not automatically mean you will be approved for SSDI. You must demonstrate that your particular case has left you unable to work full time.
What are the most common types of heart disease approved for SSDI?
Heart disease refers to a wide range of conditions, some of which do not even directly affect the heart. Virtually any form of heart disease can qualify for SSDI if it has left you disabled or with pain, fatigue or difficulty breathing when you physically exert yourself. However, the most common types of heart disease we see in SSDI applications include:
- Coronary artery disease
- Congestive heart failure
Don’t be alarmed if your diagnosis isn’t on this list. You can still qualify. But all heart disease sufferers must provide extensive paperwork beyond the diagnosis, or you could be turned down.
Why would the SSA turn me down if I’ve been diagnosed with heart disease?
Heart disease is not a specific illness. It’s a general term for a long list of illnesses. Some affect the heart, others affect the veins and arteries. They can be caused by high blood pressure, buildup of fatty plaques, infection or a congenital condition. Two different patients with heart disease may have wildly different symptoms, and one may be disabled while the other can still go to work. This is why the SSA is very careful in evaluating every case.
Generally, the SSA will want to see evidence of several things:
- A diagnosis of a specific condition
- Evidence that you have followed all doctor’s orders (such as changing diet, taking medication, etc.)
- Evidence that it’s difficult for you to perform simple tasks, and thus work
The first two of these are relatively easy. You can get the diagnosis from your doctor or your medical history, and your doctor can submit an opinion stating that you have followed all of their recommendations. But proving you have limitations and cannot work can be much more complicated.
How do I prove that my heart disease prevents me from working?
There are several forms of evidence you can submit as evidence for this, such as:
- Imaging tests that clearly show the extent of the damage, especially abnormalities in the heart and the area immediately around the heart.
- Medical history showing that you have been hospitalized for your heart disease multiple times in the past 12 months
- An exercise tolerance test showing that you experience fatigue or angina (chest pain) during basic physical exertion
Of these, an exercise tolerance test is the strongest evidence you can submit, because it directly assesses your ability to do things like stand, walk and do basic work. We can help you see a specialist who knows how to administer this test. Alternatively, you may be able to get an opinion from a doctor that even doing the test would be unsafe (because it would be too much exertion), and we can help you submit detailed evidence to support this.
Finally, if you also experience other conditions such as diabetes, obesity, depression or anxiety, we could help you see a doctor who will perform a functional capacity assessment. This is common for SSDI claims and is not specific to heart disease. It assesses your overall ability to work, not just your physical exertion. It can take into consideration difficulty focusing or working with others as well as physical limitations.
What if my heart disease SSDI application was already turned down in Atlanta?
We can help you appeal it. We understand that it can be devastating and demoralizing to be turned down, especially if you need the SSDI money to keep your home or provide for your family. But your denial is not final. You have 60 days to reapply, and if it is denied again you can schedule a hearing with a judge to appeal it. Often, judges look much more carefully at the evidence than government bureaucrats do and we often see heart disease claims turn around and get approved in the hearing. Even if you have missed the appeal deadline, you may be able to start the application process over from scratch.
The key with any appeal or re-application is to find out what caused your original request to be denied. We understand what the SSA looks for, and we can help you go over your paperwork to identify the weak spots in your application. Often, there is already ample evidence in your existing medical history and you just need to pull the right documents to support your claim. In other cases we can help you get the right kind of test to prove that your heart disease prevents you from working.
Talk to an Atlanta Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
The SSDI process can be tragically slow. We can help you present the strongest application possible and, in many cases, get approved on the first try. Let John Foy & Associates give you a free consultation and make the process easy. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.