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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Ischemic Heart Disease

A person may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on certain heart conditions. Recently, I discussed eligibility based on Chronic Heart Failure (CHF). This week I am going to focus on the Social Security Administration's evaluation when a person suffers from ischemic heart disease.

If someone is not working and suffers from ischemic heart disease, the SSA will determine whether the person is disabled under a listing or whether jobs exists considering the person's residual abilities. The Listings are just that, they are listings of conditions that qualify for someone disability benefits. A person must show that she meets or equals the listed condition and required severity.

In terms of ischemic heart disease, the SSA's Bluebook or Code of Federal Regulations states:

4.04 Ischemic heart disease, with symptoms due to myocardial ischemia while on a regimen of prescribed treatment, with one of the following:

A. Sign-or symptom-limited exercise tolerance test demonstrating at least one of the following manifestations at a workload equivalent to 5 METs or less:

1. Horizontal or downsloping depression, in the absence of digitalis glycoside treatment or hypokalemia, of the ST segment of at least -0.10 millivolts (-1.0 mm) in at least 3 consecutive complexes that are on a level baseline in any lead other than a VR, and depression of at least -0.10 millivolts lasting for at least 1 minute of recovery; or

2. At least 0.1 millivolt (1 mm) ST elevation above resting baseline in non-infarct leads during both exercise and 1 or more minutes of recovery; or

3. Decrease of 10 mm Hg or more in systolic pressure below the baseline blood pressure or the preceding systolic pressure measured during exercise due to left ventricular dysfunction, despite an increase in workload; or

4. Documented ischemia at an exercise level equivalent to 5 METs or less on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, such as radionuclide perfusion scans or stress echocardiography.

OR

B. Three separate ischemic episodes, each requiring revascularization or not amenable to revascularization, within a consecutive 12-month period.

OR

C. Coronary artery disease, demonstrated by angiography (obtained independent of Social Security disability evaluation) or other appropriate medically acceptable imaging, and in the absence of a timely exercise tolerance test or a timely normal drug-induced stress test, an MC, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, has concluded that performance of exercise tolerance testing would present a significant risk to the individual, with both 1 and 2:

1. Angiographic evidence showing:

a. 50 percent or more narrowing of a nonbypassed left main coronary artery; or

b. 70 percent or more narrowing of another nonbypassed coronary artery; or

c. 50 percent or more narrowing involving a long (greater than 1 cm) segment of a nonbypassed coronary artery; or

d. 50 percent or more narrowing of at least two nonbypassed coronary arteries; or

e. 70 percent or more narrowing of a bypass graft vessel; and

2. Resulting in very serious limitations in the ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities of daily living.

If the person does not qualify for benefits based on this Listing, the impairments can still be considered when determining whether he or she can return to past employment or whether jobs exist in the local and national economy.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout Tennessee.

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Knoxville, TN 37909

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