Applicants must demonstrate they’re unable to perform tasks that are normally required for their job and prove they’re earning less than $1,000 per month.
The SSA reviews the jobs that they’ve held in the past, their education, age and the severity of their heart disease. SSA also determines whether or not the applicants are unable to do work, or if heart disease has rendered them unable to do the type of work they have done before.
Eventually, a disability index is assigned. Even if the applicant is approved for benefits, there is still a six month waiting period before they can receive the benefits. According to the SSA office, if applicants receive approval to receive benefits in January, they shouldn’t expect to receive any money until August because they pay on a one month delay.
The process may get easier for people suffering from cardiovascular-related conditions. The SSA is considering adding heart disease to the list of conditions that qualify for a “Compassionate Allowance” or CAL. The CAL is a way to ease the disability-determining process because the diseases and conditions on the CAL list are so severe that the disability standard is considered met. Typically, the CAL list includes conditions such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), acute leukemia, numerous cancers and other conditions.
Public outreach hearings were held in February to provide input regarding whether or not cardiovascular disease (or at least some cardiovascular conditions) should be added to the CAL list. In addition to the results of the public hearings, the SSA will seek input from the medical and scientific communities, internal information and comments from the SSA and Disability Determination Service, and research and input from the National Institutes of Health. Approval for inclusion on the CAL list will benefit those disabled due to cardiovascular disease, enabling them to navigate the application process more easily and obtain benefits sooner.
Heart Disease and Social Security Disability Insurance, Allsup, Inc., 17 Jul 2011, http://www.allsup.com/about-ssdi/ssdi-guidelines-by-disability/heart-disease.aspx