Cardiovascular System and Social Security | Heart Problems and Disability

Social Security’s rules recognize a wide variety of medical conditions which, if severe enough, may qualify for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration.

Another category includes cardiovascular, or heart, conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Chronic heart failure while on a regimen of prescribed treatment with (A), symptoms and medically documented presence of systolic failure (with left ventricular end diastolic dimensions greater than 6.0 cm or ejection fraction of 30 percent or less during a period of stability) or diastolic failure; and (B), resulting in one of the following:

(1) Persistent symptoms of heart failure which very seriously limit the ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities of daily living in an individual for whom a medical consultant, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, has concluded that the performance of an exercise test would present a significant risk to the individual; or

(2) three or more separate episodes of acute congestive heart failure within a consecutive 12-month period, with evidence of fluid retention from clinical and imaging assessments at the time of the episodes, requiring acute extended physician intervention such as hospitalization or emergency room treatment for 12 hours or more, separated by periods of stabilization; or

(3) inability to perform on an exercise tolerance test at a workload equivalent to 5 METs or less due to (a) dyspnea, fatigue, palpitations, or chest discomfort; or (b) three or more consecutive premature ventricular contractions (ventricular tachycardia), or increasing frequency of ventricular ectopy with at least 6 premature ventricular contractions per minute; or (c) decrease of 10 mm Hg or more in systolic pressure below the baseline systolic blood pressure or the preceding systolic pressure measured during exercise due to left ventricular dysfunction, despite an increase in workload; or (d) signs attributable to inadequate cerebral perfusion, such as ataxic gait or mental confusion.

2. Ischemic heart disease, with symptoms due to myocardial ischemia.

3. Recurrent arrhythmias.

4. Symptomatic congenital heart disease (cyanotic or acyanotic), documented by appropriate medically acceptable imaging or cardiac catheterization. 4.09 Heart transplant. Consider under a disability for 1 year following surgery; thereafter, evaluate residual impairment under the appropriate listing.

5. Aneurysm of aorta or major branches, due to any cause (e.g., atherosclerosis, cystic medial necrosis, Marfan syndrome, trauma), demonstrated by appropriate medically acceptable imaging.

6. Chronic venous insufficiency of a lower extremity with incompetency or obstruction of the deep venous system and (A) extensive brawny edema involving at least two-thirds of the leg between the ankle and knee or the distal one-third of the lower extremity between the ankle and hip; or (B) superficial varicosities, stasis dermatitis, and either recurrent ulceration or persistent ulceration that has not healed following at least 3 months of prescribed treatment.

7. Peripheral arterial disease, or P.A.D., as determined by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, causing intermittent claudication.

Mr. Ortiz is a Board Certified Social Security Attorney and offers free case evaluations. Contact him at (850) 308-7833 today.