Can You Get Social Security Benefits if You Suffer from Angina or Coronary Artery Disease?

Getting Social Security disability benfits for angina or coronary artery disease.Angina is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. It is described as a squeezing, pressure, heaviness, or tightness in the chest. It is often a symptom of coronary artery disease. Other symptoms that accompany angina include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, and sweating. Any unexplained chest pain should immediately be treated by a doctor.

There are two types of angina: Stable angina and unstable angina. Stable angina is the most common form and usually happens when someone exerts themselves and then goes away with rest. Stable angina is usually predictable and only lasts for a brief period of time. Unstable angina is far more dangerous and can lead to a heart attack. Unstable angina happens at rest and is often severe.

Though both men and women suffer from angina, pain may display differently in males and females. For women, chest pain is not the only symptom and they may also experience nausea and abdominal pain.

Risk factors for angina and coronary artery disease include tobacco use, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, obesity, stress, lack of exercise, and older age. The most dangerous complication of angina is a heart attack. Angina can be prevented by lifestyle changes and can sometimes be managed with medication.

While angina is actually required to qualify for Social Security disability for coronary artery disease, having angina alone will not result in the awarding of disability benefits.

How Does Angina or Coronary Artery Disease Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Those with coronary artery disease with exacerbating angina will be evaluated for disability under Listing 4.04. However, if the applicant has not been on a regiment of prescribed treatment and documentation of angina, they will have a difficult time showing that they meet the Listing requirements to receive disability benefits.

A disability applicant with angina and/or coronary artery disease will need to have medical proof exhibiting the following:

  • Abnormal stress test
  • Ischemic episodes
  • Abnormal imaging results

Most individuals with coronary artery disease will have abnormal imaging that shoes a partial blockage of the main artery. Listing 4.04 also states that the applicant must show symptoms due to myocardial ischemia such as one of the following:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Atypical angina
  • Angina equivalent
  • Variant angina
  • Silent ischemia

What if Your Angina or Coronary Artery Disease Doesn't Meet the Requirements for Disability Benefits?

For an applicant who does not meet the Listing requirements, the SSA may still find that the applicant is disabled due to their inability to sustain gainful employment. At that point, the SSA will review the medical evidence and use that information to assess a, “residual functional capacity.” A residual function capacity (RFC) is an assessment of an individual’s maximum ability to do sustained work-related activities and includes limitations and restrictions for their medical impairments.

Our Social Security Attorneys Can Help You Get Your Benefits Approved

If your coronary artery disease and angina is preventing you from working or participating in daily activities, our attorneys at Keller & Keller are prepared to help you get disability benefits. As one of Indiana’s most recognized Social Security Disability law firms, we have the experience and drive to make sure you get the benefits you need to support yourself. Call us today for a free consultation.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller
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