If you have a heart problem, you might assume you will automatically qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). After all, cardiovascular diseases are the world’s leading cause of death, so it’s clearly a serious issue.
Unfortunately (and thankfully), it is not that simple: Unfortunately because heart conditions do not always qualify for SSD. Thankfully because heart conditions are not always fatal, and doctors can often control or treat them.
Does it stop you from working for at least 12 months?
This is the first question to ask when considering applying for SSD for any kind of illness or disability. You are not eligible to claim if it doesn’t keep you out of work for at least one year. You can backdate that time, so if you have already been out of work for three months due to it, then you only need to show it will do so for another nine months.
Not all heart conditions are equal
Getting SSD will typically be more straightforward if you have one of the heart conditions that the Social Security Administration (SSA) specifically mentions in their Blue Book. Yet you may still qualify if you have a condition they do not mention.
As with any SSD claim, expect the claim process to be challenging. Each year, many people see their claims denied, often for conditions that the SSA would deem valid if the claimant had done things differently.
The SSA needs to ensure that all claims are legitimate, so they mandate strict requirements. Getting legal help from someone with experience navigating SSD claims is always advisable.