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Qualifying for SSDI benefits with heart or lung conditions

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Social Security Disability

The human body requires numerous systems to function. Issues with any one part of the human organism can have significant implications for many other aspects of an individual’s overall health and daily lived experience.

The heart, for example, which is the central organ of the circulatory system, is both incredibly strong and very vulnerable. The human heart doesn’t stop beating until someone dies, and yet it is vulnerable to so many different illnesses and conditions that might endanger someone’s life. Additionally, the respiratory system helps both provide the body with oxygen and excrete wastes like carbon dioxide. Despite its ability to handle oxygen, which is an incredibly deadly gas in certain concentrations, the lungs respond negatively to everything from incredibly high temperatures to certain types of smoke.

Those with heart or lung issues may find that not only do they have concerns about their overall health and well-being, but they have to worry about their inability to work safely. Can those with heart and lung issues potentially qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if their medical conditions keep them from working?

Yes, both heart and lung conditions can potentially qualify

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a relatively thorough but not exhaustive list of medical conditions that could qualify an individual for SSDI benefits. There are individual categories of qualifying conditions for both cardiovascular concerns, including conditions that affect the heart, and respiratory conditions, including many common lung diseases. Of course, simply having one of the conditions included on that list is not automatically lead to someone getting benefits.

The SSA looks at every application on its individual merit. Therefore, applicants will need not just diagnostic records but also medical documentation affirming the extent of the condition and its impact on their overall health. Imaging tests, functional review reports and even documentation from employers affirming that someone’s condition has limited their ability to perform their job can all help support a claim that someone’s lung or heart condition is severe enough to warrant SSDI benefits.

Typically, workers need to show that their medical condition is concerning enough to prevent them from engaging in any sort of gainful economic activity. Some applicants may end up denied when they initially apply, but they may still be able to prevail upon appeal if they secure additional medical documentation and other supporting evidence.

Given the very broad range of symptoms and medical consequences of different heart and lung medical issues, those hoping to apply for SSDI benefits for such conditions may benefit from seeking legal guidance throughout the process. Consulting with an attorney about SSDI benefits and qualifying conditions can help people determine whether someone is in a strong position to pursue a claim and may also facilitate a smoother overall claims process.


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