Heart disease and Social Security Disability Insurance

Heart disease affects millions of Americans and many people in the United States who have heart disease and are unable to work because of the disease turn to Social Security Disability Insurance for support. Those who have heart disease and look to Social Security Disability for assistance may have an easier time applying in the future. The Social Security Administration is currently considering whether to add heart disease to its list of conditions that qualify for a Compassionate Allowance.

Today, Social Security Disability applicants with heart disease must demonstrate they are not able to perform work-related tasks and show that they earn less than $1,000 per month. In the determination process, the Social Security Administration looks at the type of positions the applicant has held in the past, age, education and the quality of the applicant’s heart disease. In addition, the Social Security Administration decides whether or not the applicant is able to work, or whether the applicant’s heart disease has made it so the applicant can no longer work.

Ultimately, the applicant will be approved or declined for disability benefits. If the applicant is approved, a six month waiting period generally remains before benefits can be received. The application process may get easier for people with heart disease.

Right now heart disease falls under the category of cardiovascular system and includes conditions such as chronic heart failure and cardiomyopathy. The Social Security Administration is determining whether to add heart disease to its list of conditions that qualify for Compassionate Allowance. Conditions on the Compassionate Allowance list are by definition diseases and conditions so serious the standard for disability is automatically met. The Compassionate Allowance list therefore lessens the time of the disability determination process.

To consider whether to add heart disease to the list, the Social Security Administration is conducting public hearings and is consulting with the medical and scientific communities.

Source: empowher.com, “Heart disease and Social Security Disability,” Mary Kyle, 7/18/11

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