This post discusses heart failure and Social Security Disability. Heart Failure can be difficult to live with. Shortness of breath, swelling and fatigue are just a few of the symptoms you have to endure. According to the Mayo Clinic, heart failure often develops after other conditions have damaged or weakened your heart. Found here.
Heart failure occurs when your heart fails to pump as well as it should. Your body depends on the heart’s pumping to deliver blood to your body’s cells. When the heart fails to supply your body with enough blood, you suffer from fatigue and shortness of breath. Found here.
The Social Security Administration evaluates heart failure under Listing 4.02, Chronic Heart Failure. This listing is difficult to meet and is confusing as well. Many doctors use the NYHA (New York Heart Association) classifications to determine what stage your heart failure is in. The NYHA classifications are found here:
Class I – Patients with cardiac disease but resulting in no limitation of physical activity. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea or anginal pain.
Class II – Patients with cardiac disease resulting in slight limitation of physical activity. They are comfortable at rest. Ordinary physical activity results in fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea or anginal pain.
Class III – Patients with cardiac disease resulting in marked limitation of physical activity. They are comfortable at rest. Less than ordinary activity causes fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea or anginal pain.
Class IV– Patients with cardiac disease resulting in inability to carry on any physical activity without discomfort. Symptoms of heart failure or the anginal syndrome may be present even at rest. If any physical activity is undertaken, discomfort increases.
As you will see in Listing 4.02, the Social Security Administration does not use the NYHA classes and focuses on diastolic and systolic failure instead. As always, the severity of your symptoms is more important than your diagnosis. If your heart failure stops you from working, you should apply for disability as soon as possible and call the Bishop Law Firm. We want to help!