Ischemic heart disease describes a condition where a person suffers reduced blood supply to the heart probably due to blockage in the coronary arteries/ atherosclerosis. It is one of the most common causes of death in a number of western countries. It is characterized by recurring chest pain which occurs when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood supply. The blockage develops when cholesterol particles begin to collect around the walls of the arteries (which supply blood to the heart) leading to the formation of plaques. Formation of plaques gradually constricts the arteries reducing blood flow and the amount of oxygen reaching the heart, and in severe cases, a heart attack. People with Ischemic heart disease may also experience angina or unstable angina. Common symptoms of angina include tightness or feeling of pressure around the chest, neck and arm, palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and cold sweats. Most cases of IHD have been associated with hereditary factors and lifestyle habits including smoking, obesity, inadequate exercise, high cholesterol intake, etc. The signs and symptoms of IHD may develop slowly or rapidly depending on the rate at which the arteries become blocked. Doctors will often perform imaging studies and Electrocardiograms to view blood flow within the heart and check for heart failure. Ischemic heart disease can be treated with the right lifestyle and dietary changes, medication, and surgery (coronary artery bypass surgery or heart transplant in extreme cases).
Qualifying for disability benefits with Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease
Ischemic heart disease is listed under Section 4.00 (cardiovascular system) in the Social Security’s Blue Book as one of the conditions that person to qualify for disability benefits. To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, applicants must be able to prove that their condition/disability imposes serious functional limitations on them such that they rely on others to carry out basic activities. You should provide the SSA with sufficient information about your condition including physical exam tests and exercise tolerance tests you have had in the past year. You should endeavor to discuss with your doctor to include (in his report) how your symptoms get worse moving forward. Most applicants find it helpful working with disability lawyers. Disability lawyers can help ensure expedited processing of your claim by ensuring your claim gets proper documentation and presentation. You can contact the SSA via the phone (1-800-772-1213), online or a nearby office to make more inquiries and get more information on how to apply.
Qualifying for a Medical Vocational Allowance with Ischemic Heart Disease
If for some reason you do not meet the disability listing, you may still qualify for a medical vocational allowance with your RFC. The SSA will usually have a consultative examiner conduct an RFC test to determine functional limitations, and if you can still perform some level of work (light, medium, sedentary, heavy). Your past job experience, level of education and skills you may have obtained prior to your disability will determine the kinds of jobs available to you. You will qualify for a medical vocational allowance if your RFC report shows you do not possess the ability to do any work.
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