You are rushed into the hospital after collapsing. Doctors tell you that you had a heart attack and need to rest. When you get out and talk to your general practitioner, he says you need to make some significant lifestyle changes and should think about quitting your high-pressure job.
Does that mean you can file for Social Security Disability (SSD) because your doctor says you should not go back to your job? Probably not. There is a massive difference between a doctor telling you that you need to leave your stressful job and saying you should not work at all.
To claim SSD, you need to show your condition needs to prevent you from working
While heart issues can kill you, that does not mean you can automatically claim SSD for them. The criteria for any condition is that it disables you to the point where it prevents you from working for at least one year. Many people with heart attacks can still work. They may need to change roles or employers, cut their hours and change their diet, but they can still hold down a job. Even if you cannot work right now, you may be able to within a few months.
Some heart conditions do qualify for SSD
The SSA Blue Book lists eight heart conditions that typically qualify for SSD:
- Chronic heart failure
- Ischemic heart disease
- Recurrent arrhythmias
- Symptomatic congenital heart disease
- Heart transplant
- Aneurysm of aorta or major branches
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Peripheral arterial disease
However, you may still be able to claim even if you do not have one of these eight conditions. Getting help to assess your condition and situation will be vital to understanding if and how you can claim SSD.