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Each year, approximately 56,000 Texans will die from some form of heart disease. This is a staggering statistic when you consider that cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death in Texas since 1940. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration provides some victims of heart disease with disability benefits so that they can focus more of their health and less on the fear of financial ruin. Applicants must meet certain requirements in order to qualify.

Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure for Disability Benefits

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits under the Administration’s listing for chronic heart failure impairment, sufferers must show that they have experienced either systolic or diastolic heart failure. There are certain objective symptoms for each of these conditions that can prove your claim.

  • Systolic heart failure. Systolic heart failure results when the heart has a weakened ability to pump. You must demonstrate that your heart’s ejection fraction is 30 percent or less during a period where you are not experiencing heart failure. Ejection fraction is the percentage of blood that is pumped out of the heart each time your heart beats. If you cannot demonstrate this symptom, you may show that your heart’s left ventricular end diastolic dimensions are larger than six centimeters. If you can show either of these two symptoms, you may satisfy the requirement for symptoms of systolic failure.
  • Diastolic heart failure. Diastolic heart failure is different from systolic heart failure. This condition occurs when the heart is unable to fill properly. It can be shown by demonstrating that thickness of the left ventricular wall and the inter-ventricular septum is 2.5 centimeters or larger. In addition, you must show that your left atrium is enlarged to 4.5 centimeters or more. Further, you must prove that you suffer from normal or elevated ejection fraction during a time when you are not experiencing acute heart failure.

Interested in learning more about obtaining Social Security disability benefits? View our free guide, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know. This guide will get you on the path to the disability benefits that you need.

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Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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