It is no surprise that many Georgia residents with heart disease are unable to work and must rely on Social Security disability benefits for financial support. However, the Social Security Administration will not automatically grant you SSDI benefits for illnesses just because you had a heart attack. The SSA has specific criteria that you must meet to qualify for benefits.
Many heart conditions are covered in Section 4 of the SSA’s “Blue Book“, including coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, aneurysm of the aorta or major branch, peripheral artery disease and symptomatic congenital heart disease. The SSA will thoroughly review medical documentation and testing results, as well as any other evidence you provide, to determine the effect your heart condition has on your ability to work.
You can qualify for disability benefits by meeting the requirements listed for each condition. For example, you may qualify for benefits for coronary artery disease under section 4.04 for ischemic heart disease. You will need to show that you have symptoms due to myocardial ischemia. These symptoms may include angina pectoris (chest discomfort due to effort or emotion) or an aginal equivalent (shortness of breath on exertion without chest discomfort). The criteria in Section 4.04 also requires an abnormal stress test, ischemic episodes, or abnormal imaging results, each with its own specific criteria.
Unless you are a physician or have a thorough understanding of heart conditions, you may have a difficult time determining which section of the SSA’s Blue Book applies to you. A Social Security disability attorney can assist you with your disability application and make sure you provide the information necessary to demonstrate your disability.