Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Is Heart Disease Considered A Disability

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Meeting Social Security’s Official Listing For Coronary Heart Disease

Winning VA Disability Benefits for Ischemic Heart Disease

Social Security will evaluate your coronary heart disease based on the current objective medical evidence in your medical record and any other evidence they may receive. In rare cases where there is no medical documentation of your condition in the medical record, or the documentation covers too short of a time period, the SSA may order a “consultative examination” to help evaluate your impairment.

If you haven’t been on prescribed treatment or medication, you will have a difficult time showing that your coronary heart disease meets Listing 4.04 for ischemic heart disease. Ask your doctor for help determining if you meet the following listing requirements:

Ast Or Abnormal Stress Test

An abnormal stress exam is an exercise tolerance exam that helps in understanding the functionality of the heart. The test puts a workload equal to 5 METS, which results in any one of the following unusual events:

  • Downsloping or Horizontal ST segment depression
  • At least 1 mm of ST segment elevation
  • A decrease in systolic pressure by 10 mmHg
  • Ischemia noted at 5 METS using acceptable imaging such as stress echocardiography

If the victim suffers from two or more ischemic episodes within one year and requires bypass surgery or angioplasty, the patient can apply for Social Security benefit provided by the SSA.

What Should Be In Your Medical Records If You Have Coronary Heart Disease

Social Security will be looking for a “longitudinal” clinical record of your coronary heart disease. This means you must have had at least three months of treatment, unless your current evidence is sufficient for the SSA to make a determination. The basic documentation you should supply to the SSA includes detailed reports of your history, physical examinations, laboratory tests, and any treatment that has been prescribed to you, as well as your response to such treatment.

Your longitudinal record should include ECG results. An electrocardiograph records electrical impulses of your heart onto a strip of paper known as an electrocardiogram or tracing. An ECG may show that your heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygen, resulting in ischemia. An ECG may be performed while the patient is at rest or exercising.

Be sure that the SSA also receives the results of any exercise tolerance tests performed. Exercise testing is the most commonly used testing for determining the presence of myocardial ischemia and for providing an estimate of your aerobic capacity. If possible, recent exercise test results should be included in your records, since the SSA generally considers exercise test results to be valuable for only 12 months after they’ve been performed.

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Challenges Of Applying For Disability Benefits For Heart Disease

1. The abnormal stress test has its limitations in detecting myocardial ischemia.

The abnormal stress test is the universal screening test for plaque in the coronary arteries. However, the blockage must be significant enough in order to be detected by most types of EETs. As such, they are usually unable to detect the early onset of CAD EETs are most effective during the latter stages of the development of heart disease. The most accurate type of stress test, the nuclear stress test, has a high sensitivity but also exposes the patient to a high level of radiation making it not a recommended option.

2. The impact of heart problems on work performance will be examined.

The approval of a claim is usually not based on the type of heart disease and its level of seriousness. For instance, a worker who has suffered from heart attacks does not necessarily have a better chance of getting approved than someone who has stable angina. What is more important is the negative impact of the disease and its symptoms on the employees performance of his or her work tasks. The CPP administration and insurance companies look at how heart problems make it impossible for a worker to be optimally productive.

3. The effect of work stress on the severity of symptoms need to be documented.

Our Lawyers Help Veterans Get Disability Benefits For Cardiovascular Disease

VA Disability Ratings for Heart Disease

As a veteran, your time in the military could be responsible for many different impairments affecting your heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular diseases for veterans range from peripheral artery disease and high blood pressure to heart attacks and strokes.

According to the VA, heart disease is the number-one cause of hospitalization for veterans and a primary cause of disability. Veterans suffer service-connected heart disorders from many causes, including posttraumatic stress disorder, exposure to Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals, diabetes, spinal cord trauma, and sleep apnea.

VA evaluates heart conditions under 38 CFR § 4.104, Schedule of Ratings Cardiovascular System. Criteria are listed as:

  • Diseases of the Heart
  • Diseases of the Arteries and Veins

When applying for VA disability benefits for cardiovascular disease, you will need to prove a direct service connection or service connection by aggravation. Veterans with a pre-existing cardiovascular condition or congenital heart disease may have a valid claim for service-connected VA compensation if that condition was made worse by your time in service.

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Va Presumptive Conditions For Heart Disease:

VA assumes certain diseases of the cardiovascular system can be related to a veterans qualifying military service. These are called presumptive diseases and include the following circumstances:

  • Agent Orange Exposure: VA presumes service connection of Ischemic Heart Disease . If you were exposed to Agent Orange and meet service requirements, you do not have to prove a medical nexus between their condition and their military service.
  • Gulf War Veterans Medically Unexplained Illnesses: VA presumes service connection of cardiovascular symptoms if you served in the Gulf War and have a condition that is at least 10% disabling by December 31, 2021. VA refers to these illnesses as chronic multi-symptom illness and undiagnosed illnessesthat include cardiovascular disease.
  • Other qualifying veterans with at least 90 days of continuous service can be eligible for presumptive service connection for conditions such as arteriosclerosis, endocarditis, myocarditis, and Raynauds disease.

Cardiovascular disease is often associated with many other diseases that affect veterans. It can be very confusing and frustrating for the disabled veteran to prove all the requirements the VA has imposed to finally get the maximum ratings deserved.

Types Of Heart Disease

Many heart conditions cause severe restrictions and limitations that prevent you from working. The most common types of heart disease include:

  • Ischemic heart disease. Also known as coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis, this condition is characterized by build-up of materials within arteries. The result is that the flow of blood to the heart is restricted. High blood pressure is characteristic of this condition in early stages.
  • Arteriosclerosis. This disease causes the artery walls to thicken and become rigid due to fat and/or calcium deposits. When combined with ischemic heart disease, this condition often leads to heart attack.
  • Congestive Heart Failure. This condition occurs as the heart weakens and cannot pump a sufficient amount of blood to feed oxygen-starved organs.

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How Severe Does Coronary Artery Disease Have To Be To Produce Ischemia

Blood flow to the myocardium served by a particular coronary artery is not significantly decreased until a lesion blocks about 70% of the diameter of the artery. It is frequently possible for a person to be comfortable at rest with a 90% blockage in a large epicardial artery.

Lesions of less than 50% are generally considered to not be significant CAD, because the heart will still be able to obtain sufficient blood flow both at rest and with exercise. However, this conclusion must be made in context of all of the medical evidence. Long segments of obstruction rather than discrete lesions, involvement of the left main coronary artery, or involvement of multiple arteries could cause significant ischemia with blockages as low as 50%.

% Va Rating For Heart Disease

Heart Disease and Social Security Disability

VA assigns a 100% rating where the veteran experiences the symptoms of heart disease at a minimal level of:

  • exercise
  • such as slow walking for one or two blocks,
  • showering,
  • dressing or
  • eating .
  • Additionally, VA assigns a 100% rating to a veteran who has chronic congestive heart failure, a type of coronary heart disease, or other cardiovascular conditions.

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    Qualifying When Your Symptoms Dont Meet The Criteria

    It may still be possible for you to qualify for disability benefits even if you dont meet the above guidelines. Medical-vocational or med-voc rules stipulate that you will have to prove that the severity of your condition significantly limits your ability to perform basic actions at work

    The SSA will review the report of your symptoms alongside your medical records and your doctors opinion, as well as an SSA-hired doctor to evaluate you and any other claim file evidence. After reviewing, they will assign you a residual functional capacity , the heaviest work classification that the SSA feels you are capable to perform. They will consider your level of education, prior work experience, and age to further determine what other jobs you could perform on a consistent basis.

    The SSA will also take into consideration whether your ability to work is impacted by other conditions, be they physical or mental, when in the process of assigning you an RFC. You generally have a greater chance of being approved for benefits if you are over 50, as well as if you have a history of unskilled work or less education.

    Residual Functional Capacity Test

    A different method of gathering medical information is a Residual Functional Capacity test. This test measures your ability to perform actions common to various jobs during a regular eight-hour shift, five days a week.

    The RFC will measure your ability to sit, walk, stand, carry objects, lift objects, push, and to pull. The results of this test will show your capacity for work in jobs that are classified as Heavy, Medium, Light, or Sedentary. The RFC could also result in an analysis of less than sedentary capacity.

    If your doctor says that due to shortness of breath you should not stand and walk for more than three hours a day and you can only lift ten pounds, the SSA will give you a rating of Sedentary. If you are not able to do that much or cannot work throughout a workday, then your rating would be sub-sedentary and approval would be likely.

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    Assistance With Your Claim

    Heart conditions are very common in the US, and the veteran population is no exception. Dont hesitate to seek the disability compensation youre entitled to if you have a service-connected heart condition. And if you have been denied a claim and need assistance with your appeal, reach out to VA Disability Group at 844-VET-LAWS to get your claim back on track and receive the compensation you deserve.

    Is Coronary Artery Disease Considered A Disability

    Disability Claims for Coronary Heart Disease

    Coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease is a state where fatty deposits build up in the arteries making it difficult for smooth passage of blood. Due to the deposits, the arteries become hard, and therefore reduce the supply of oxygen and blood to human heart muscles. The typical symptoms include chest pain, breath shortness, dizziness and loss of consciousness. It is further logical for the patient to experience a heart attack.

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    Qualifying With A Residual Functional Capacity

    If your condition does not meet the Parkinsons disease listing or any other listing, you can may qualify for benefits though a residual functional capacity assessment . This assessment is a detailed report that explains what you can do for regular, full-time work. The RFC should explain how your tremors will likely affect your ability to perform basic job functions such as:

    • Carrying
    • Walking
    • Standing

    Additionally, the SSA will consider whether there are other limitations that your tremors will impose on your work that are non-exertional in nature. Your tremors may impact other aspects of your ability to perform expected job functions even if strength is not relevant to these determinations. For example, your tremors, medication or treatment of your condition may impact the following basic job functions:

    • Typing
    • Completing other specific body positions that are routine for the job
    • Completing other activities that require the repetitive use of fine motor skills
    • Speaking clearly so others can understand

    Tremors may also impact the ability of a person to work with others, pay attention or concentrate. They may also suffer from some mental health complications associated with essential tremors, such as anxiety, depression or nervousness.

    If it is concluded that your condition prevents you from being able to work, you should qualify for benefits.

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    Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits With Heart Failure

    Social Security Disability benefits can provide an individual who is suffering from heart failure with a monthly income as well as medical insurance to cover medical expenses.

    When an individual suffers from heart failure, it can be impossible to maintain a full time job. Working a job with heart failure can be dangerous, yet the lack of income caused by an inability to work can result in significant financial stress. While it may seem like a vicious cycle, the good news is that Social Security Disability benefits may be the solution to this problem. Social Security Disability benefits can provide an individual who is suffering from heart failure with a monthly income as well as medical insurance to cover medical expenses.

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    Can I Get Long Term Disability For Heart Disease

    Whether you qualify for long term disability due to heart disease will depend on the nature of your condition and symptoms. When evaluating whether to file a long term disability claim, review your policy carefully. Long term disability insurance policies typically define disability as a condition that prevents you from performing the duties of your occupation .

    Does Your Heart Condition Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability Claim Base On Heart Disease

    An estimated 80 million Americans have at least one type of heart disease. This year, about 720,000 Americans will suffer a heart attack. Almost nine million will experience angina caused by blockage in the coronary arteries. An estimated one million will die from heart disease, and millions more will suffer severe heart-related disabilities.

    The Social Security Administration lists certain heart conditions in Section 4.0 of the Blue Book listing of impairments.These categories are the most severe of conditions These impairments include:

  • Chronic heart failure Heart failure occurs when the muscle becomes damaged because it is unable to pump enough blood to keep the organs healthy. In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for chronic heart failure, an applicant may be required to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, palpitations, or tachycardia while taking an exercise tolerance test.
  • Acute congestive heart failure Congestive failure occurs when lack of oxygenated blood causes the kidneys to stop working properly, and the body becomes congested with fluid. A person may qualify for SSDI for congestive heart failure if he suffers three or more separate episodes of congestive heart failure with evidence of fluid retention within a one-year period.
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    About David Brannen

    A former occupational therapist turned disability lawyer, David has been representing people in disability claims for over fifteen years. David is Resolute Legals founder and managing lawyer. He is the author of the best selling The Beginners Guide to CPP Disability, the CPP Application Workbook and A Beginners Guide to Disability Insurance Claims in Canada.

    Your Age And Receiving Benefits

    A persons risk of developing heart problems increases with age, so its not surprising that many applicants for SSDI for cardiovascular conditions are older adults. If you are age 50 to 54, you are considered to be approaching advanced age and will have your application rated more favorably due to the difficulty of training for or adapting to a new position as an older worker. If you are 55 or older, you will be considered a person of advanced age and have the most favorable evaluation. However, once you are eligible for full retirement benefits, youll receive regular Social Security payments instead of your SSDI benefits.

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    Risk Factors Of Tremors

    Because we are still trying to determine the exact cause of essential tremor, we know relatively little about the factors that increase your risk of developing it. The biggest risk factor we know of for sure is having a parent with the condition.

    Beyond the genetic component, the biggest risk factor we know of right now is age. People over age 40 are much more likely to develop essential tremors than younger people. Experts also believe there are some environmental risk factors, but so far have not been able to confirm any specific factor.

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    What Is Heart Disease

    Disability Claims for Heart Disease

    Heart disease is another term for cardiovascular disease, or diseases which affect the cardiovascular system including the heart and its network of arteries, veins and capillaries.

    The term cardiovascular disease is often used for coronary artery disease, the most common form of cardiovascular disease in the United States, and the condition in which blood vessel blockages create the potential for heart attacks and other heart problems.

    Cardiovascular disease also refers to other conditions such as abnormal heart beats, infections, and defects.

    The causes of heart disease vary depending on the specific condition, but include atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque from fatty foods, high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as genetic factors such as birth defects.

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