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How does the SSA define cardiovascular impairment?

As many Missouri residents know, people who suffer from a variety of illnesses are eligible for coverage by the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which is run by the Social Security Administration. Among those illnesses are heart or cardiovascular impairments as described in Section 4.00 of the 2008 Blue Book, which is available online. In that document, the SSA defines the qualifying conditions for a successful application. To be eligible for benefits, an applicant should understand the SSA definitions.

The SSA defines cardiovascular impairments as disorders or illnesses that significantly and directly affect the proper functioning of a person's heart or cardiovascular system. The disorders can be acquired or congenital. According to the SSA, these cardiovascular disorders result from one or more of the following consequences of heart disease: ventricular dysfunction or chronic failure of the heart; pain or discomfort that is the result of myocardial ischemia, whether or not it includes necrosis of the heart muscles; a heart condition that leads to cerebral profusion and then syncope or near syncope and thus improper functioning of the cardiac system; and cyanosis that is caused by lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, by pulmonary vascular diseases or by a left-to-right shunt.

The SSA's definition of the disabling cardiac conditions or cardiovascular disease is based on signs and symptoms that have been observed by the medical community through extensive research. The SSA attempts to cover every possible disabling condition currently known, but there remain some irregularities.

The conditions are clearly stated in the SSA's Blue Book, but understanding medical and scientific terms can be challenging for many people. To obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, they may need to learn more about their options.

Source: SSA.gov, "4.00 Cardiovascular System - Adult," Accessed on Jan. 22, 2015

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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