Where to Turn if Heart Disease Has Knocked You Out of the Workplace

    If you have heart disease that’s severe enough to prevent you from working, you’re under major stress. You’re dealing with the symptoms of your condition, and your income has been cut off, but you still have bills coming in, and you lost your health insurance when you lost your job.

    Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits were made for people like you who have landed in a situation they never expected. If you’re approved, benefits include a monthly check, back pay from when your qualifying condition officially began, and eligibility for Medicare insurance.

    So SSD benefits could help you get back on steadier financial ground, but they’re not easy to get. Over the past decade, government reports have shown that Social Security denies two-thirds of claims they receive.

    Heart disease takes many forms and levels of severity. The medical evidence you get from your ongoing treatment will be vital to winning disability benefits in your particular situation.

    Your chances of being approved the first time, as well as of winning benefits if you have to appeal, can increase when you have an experienced disability attorney on your side.

    The Oregon Social Security Disability lawyers at Wells, Manning, Eitenmiller & Taylor can help you complete your benefits application and compile the necessary supporting documentation to give you the best possible chance of getting the benefits you deserve. We can also help you prepare an appeal if you were denied.

    We have offices in Eugene-Springfield, Albany, Roseburg, Coos Bay, and Medford. We are Oregon disability lawyers with 60 years of combined experience helping people win benefits and regain stability, including many who live with heart disease.

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    Does My Heart Condition Qualify Me for SSD Benefits?

    The American Heart Institute projects that by 2035 more than 130 million adults or 45.1% of the U.S. population will have some form of cardiovascular disease.

    The term “cardiovascular disease” encompasses many heart conditions. These are a few of the most common:

    • Cardiac or aortic aneurysm: A bulge forms in the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the body. If the budge splits or ruptures, that can cause death.
    • Arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries: The arteries—blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body—can become thick and stiff, restricting blood flow to the organs and tissues.
    • Congestive heart failure: A weakened heart condition that causes fluid buildup in the feet, arms, lungs, and other organs.
    • Coronary heart disease: When cholesterol deposits (plaque) and inflammation restrict the major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients.

    To qualify for disability benefits for heart disease, you must meet Social Security’s basic eligibility criteria for any condition:

    • You can’t work or engage in what Social Security calls “substantial gainful activity” because of your medical condition.
    • That includes being unable to do previous work or adjust to new work.
    • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or it will eventually be fatal.

    Beyond that, you must qualify for benefits for your specific condition(s). Social Security has an official “Listing of Impairments” that contains a section on conditions of the cardiovascular system in adults. It explains the qualifying criteria for each type of heart disease.

    If you’re wondering whether your heart condition qualifies you for disability benefits, talk to the Oregon disability lawyers at Wells, Manning, Eitenmiller & Taylor for an initial conversation about your claim at no cost to you.

    We can help you get started with reclaiming your life.

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    How to Prove Your Social Security Disability Claim for Heart Disease

    Even when you know your heart condition is serious—even if you’ve been hospitalized for it before—you still have to prove the severity of your condition to Social Security.

    They require evidence including results from tests like angiograms, echocardiography, and electrocardiography that measure the severity of the heart disease.

    If you don’t meet the Social Security “listing” for your condition, you may still qualify for disability benefits if you can show that you are significantly impaired based on an assessment of your “Residual Functional Capacity” or RFC:

    • This assessment is based primarily on medical evidence.
    • It might include observation or description of your health limitations.
    • It will describe what activities you’re still able to do.  

    Social Security has its own language (residual functional capacity, substantial gainful activity, etc.), but an experienced Social Security Disability attorney understands what it all means—and what you need to win benefits that can improve your financial stability and your life.

    If you’re in Oregon and heart disease has sidelined you from your livelihood, our disability lawyers are here to help.

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    Have a Question about Disability Benefits?

    Your health is bad. You can’t work. Your financial stability is threatened. So your head is swimming with questions. How will you get by? How does Social Security Disability work? We’ve gathered answers. See them here:

    Disability FAQs »

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