Heart Problems


Hi, my name is Andrew Kinney. I’m an attorney at Hoglund Law Offices.  I practice Social Security Disability law and Supplemental Security Income law, more easily known as SSI.  Today, I wanted to talk about heart and circulation issues and how you can be approved for benefits based on those.

I will start with heart issues.  Heart issues, as you can very well guess, are very serious issues. Your doctor needs to track symptoms that you have, and we are not just talking about heart attack symptoms or chest pains, but of course if you have those symptoms it is important to get care right away.

Social Security is evaluating heart problems of any number of subcategories.  So you could have congestive heart failure; you could have valve issues.  What is interesting about how Social Security works is that they have definitions of disability for heart problems or cardiac problems.  Those definitions are very specific, but there are broad ranges of problems that those definitions or listings cover.

For heart problems, if you are anticipating that you are going to be unable to work for more than three months or even hold a full time job, you need to start considering whether you want to apply for Social Security disability or SSI benefits.  Here is why.  Social Security requires certain levels of medical evidence.  So in terms of heart conditions, it is not only important that you get care, especially emergency care if you have heart issues, but ongoing, if you have feet swelling, if you do actually have chest pains, or if you are extremely fatigued, or if there is any dis-colorization of any of your limbs.  Any of those sort of things, your doctor is going to track symptoms that may have a heart connection.

There are three main things to do with a heart problem.  That would be: to treat for your problems, test for your problems and take medication for your problems, three basic things that help with your health.  But these things also make sure that you prove also how bad your problem is.  The testing, in particular the objective testing, for instance, an injection fraction number, these are numbers and test results that are objective, and Social Security abides by them and tracks them.  Make sure of course to treat for heart problems, but you specifically need to consider that if you don’t regularly treat for heart problems, then you are at risk for your health, but you are also at risk for not proving that you have the problems when you get to a hearing with a judge.  It is harder for me as an attorney to argue cases when we don’t have regular evidence so make sure to do your best to get health insurance, but also make sure to take care of yourself.

The other thing that I wanted to talk about, which is a somewhat related topic, is circulatory problems.  Some people have problems with dis-colorization of their legs, they swell. It may not be kidney related, but it may be deep vein thrombosis or other problems where they don’t have adequate circulation to either their arms or legs, I generally see in my experience, legs.  What you will notice when you talk to doctors is you will have dis-colorization or edema or swelling, and these issues may be painful. They also may occur daily, things you would notice.  So what doctors do with these situations is that they treat for them, and they track them.  You track those changes.  Social Security looks for diagnoses of these particular problems.  For instance vein stasis would involve either a dis-colorization of browning of your lower legs and ankles, and they would also look for swelling.

But there are different forms of problems with circulation that can be tested through studies. Those tests and also medical examinations can verify what you have, hopefully to get better, but at least to confirm what you have by the time you meet with a Social Security judge.  With heart problems or circulatory problems, you do not need to be 50 to be approved for benefits, but if you are 50 the standards ease up.  You need to prove when you are over 50 or you will be over 50 by the time you get to a hearing in a few years.  You need to prove when you are over 50 that you are limited to sit-down work, and you can’t return to your past work.  Standards ease up. Keep in mind you do not need to be 50, but if you are and have trouble being on your feet, you need to consider Social Security benefits.

If you have more questions about disability we have a medical library, the legal take on the medical conditions, or the ones we traditionally help, contact us at HoglundLaw.com.  We are also doing our best to give you information about the law and how the law applies to situations where you cannot work and you need Social Security benefits.  Feel free to visit our website.  If you have questions about applying or you have an appeal and you need to get one in, we do all that, and we help thousands of people currently.  Feel free to call 1-800-850-7867 and we can help you out.  Thank you