Will I be Approved for Disability with Coronary Artery Disease?
"I now have coronary artery disease and hypertension. I filed a claim in Jan 09 saying that coronary artery disease and hypertension were secondary to my diabetes II. This claim was denied in April--fast work did they even read the file?" I don't know what your other conditions might be but it's usually difficult to get approved on ischemic (coronary artery) disease. Diabetes type II as well. In fact, in recent years, SSA has worked to minimize the ability to win disability cases based on diabetes.
The following page addresses coronary artery disease: Coronary artery disease may qualify you for disability. Here is an excerpt:
"In the case of coronary artery heart disease, an MI (myocardial infarction, or heart attack), coronary bypass, stent, etc., does not guarantee SSD or SSI approval. To be approved on the basis of heart disease, a claimant would need to either meet the requirements of a listing or make it through the process of sequential evaluation, a five step process that measures whether or not a claimant can engage in work activity that is at or below the limit for SGA, or substantial gainful activity.
Claimants who have suffered a myocardial infarction will likely be evaluated under listing 4.04 C, Coronary Artery Disease. This listing is predicated on significant listing-level occlusions (blockages) in bypassed or non-bypassed arteries, but also supposes that an individual has "very serious limitations in the ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities of daily living."
Since we've mentioned diabetes, this page addresses that condition: Applying for disability with Diabetes.
However, I will say this: most cases get denied by a disability examiner at the disability application and reconsideration levels. And the majority of claims get approved at hearing level. You most likely have a good chance of being approved by an ALJ (administrative law judge).
The most important things to keep in mind will be obtaining and sending to the ALJ updated medical records (because SSA stops all case development once the case moves beyond the reconsideration appeal level and into the domain of the hearing offices).
Most important, however, will be obtaining a medical source statement from your treating physician(s). Unlike disability examiners, disability judges tend to give more consideration (and by comparison, substantial consideration) to the opinions of the doctors who actually provide treatment to claimants.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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