Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic heart disease refers to heart weakening caused by reduced blood flow to your heart. Typically, this reduced blood flow is the result of coronary artery disease, a condition that occurs when your coronary arteries narrow. Ischemic heart disease may also be called cardiac ischemia or ischemic cardiomyopathy. To learn more about how the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines this disability, visit Section 4.00 of the Blue Book.

Does Ischemic Heart Disease Qualify for Disability?

Eligibility for Social Security disability benefits depends on how severe the symptoms are and whether or not the disease is debilitating. In general, you must be diagnosed with ischemic heart disease even after you’ve been on medication for cardiovascular or heart medication. You must also have medical evidence that shows a history of angina and meet the requirements of one of the following:

  • Abnormal imaging results. It may be too dangerous for you to risk taking an exercise stress test, so you may qualify for benefits if an angiography shows that you have ischemic heart disease. The angiography must show evidence of one of the following:
    • Narrowing of a left main coronary artery by at least 50 percent. This artery cannot have had a bypass.
    • Narrowing of another coronary artery by at least 70 percent. This artery cannot have been bypassed.
    • Narrowing of a segment of a coronary artery that is more than one centimeter by at least 50 percent. This artery cannot have been bypassed.
    • Narrowing of two coronary arteries by at least 50 percent. This artery cannot have been bypassed.
    • Narrowing of a bypass graft vessel by at least 70 percent.
  • Ischemic episodes. If you’ve had three separate episodes when you experienced a temporary blockage of blood supply to the heart, and required that you have a stent angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery, you qualify automatically for disability.
  • Low results on an exercise stress test. When you take a stress test, the intensity of exercise is measured in metabolic equivalents (METS). One MET is the amount of energy that you expend at rest. The results of an exercise stress test must show one of a variety of irregularities at 5 METs or below.

Additionally, your ischemic heart disease must limit your daily activities and functions.

How Do I Apply for Disability Benefits?

While your case is virtually guaranteed to be approved, it’s important to understand the disability application process. If you are a left ventricular assist device recipient and believe you may qualify, contact us today for a free disability case evaluation.

You could be entitled to $3,822 a month. See if you qualify today!

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