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An irregular heartbeat, also known as an arrhythmia, is common in the United States with more than three million cases being diagnosed each year. Many arrhythmias are treated with medications or surgical procedures and many people go on to continue working. However, some people suffer from recurrent arrhythmias that interfere with their ability to work.

For These People Social Security Disability May Be an Option

The Social Security Administration recognizes that recurrent arrhythmias can be completely disabling and can prevent a person from working. Accordingly, recurrent arrhythmias are included in the cardiac section of the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments. According to Section 4.05 of the Listing of Impairments, a person with a recurrent arrhythmia may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if the recurrent arrhythmia:

  • Is not related to reversible causes such as electrolyte abnormalities, digitalis glycoside, or antiarrhythmic drug toxicity
  • Results in uncontrolled and recurrent episodes of cardiac syncope or near syncope despite prescribed treatment and documented by resting or ambulatory electrocardiography or by other appropriate medically acceptable testing coincident with the occurrence of syncope or near syncope

Additionally, a person with a recurrent arrhythmia may qualify for benefits if he meets the standards in another Blue Book listing, if the symptoms of his recurrent arrhythmia are equal in severity to another listing, or if he lacks the residual functional capacity to work.

Whether a person qualifies pursuant to Section 4.05 or in any another way, specific medical documentation will be needed to present with the Social Security disability application and to prove the existence of a qualifying disability.

Get the Help You Need Before You Apply

Anyone applying for Social Security disability—whether because of a recurrent arrhythmia or another reason—deserves to know the rules about how to apply and the potential roadblocks to their fair recoveries. For that reason, we encourage you to read our FREE report, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, and to contact our experienced and board certified Social Security disability lawyers directly via this website to schedule an initial consultation if you are considering applying for disability benefits.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

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


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