SSD Compassionate Allowance for Heart Disease on the Horizon?

Every year, thousands of workers become disabled due to complications from heart disease. Even so, many victims of heart disease (also known as cardiovascular disease), have a difficult time obtaining the Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) benefits they are entitled to receive.

Heart disease is a blanket term that covers many different types of cardiovascular illnesses, so victims must show the Social Security Administration (SSA) that their particular condition is severe enough to warrant disability payments. However, a new initiative from the SSA may be paving the road to expedite the process for disabled workers with heart disease.

The Compassionate Allowances Hearing

In February, the SSA hosted a Compassionate Allowances hearing to address cardiovascular disease. The hearing was a public forum in which officials and heart health experts met to discuss possible avenues for adding certain cardiovascular conditions to the Compassionate Allowances list.

The list is a way for the SSA to fast-track disability claims for workers with a known serious condition. Most claimants have to prove their disability is "severe" by showing it prevents them from conducting their normal work and that they are unable to adapt to other work. But, any condition on the Compassionate Allowances list is automatically deemed to be a valid disability for purposes of obtaining SSD benefits. Thus, adding heart disease to the list would help victims receive benefits much more quickly and easily.

What It Means for Heart Disease Sufferers

Although the hearing is a promising sign, it is only one major step in adding a condition to the Compassionate Allowances list. Since heart disease covers such a wide range of illnesses, some obviously disabling and some not, many logistical concerns remain to be worked out.

If you have heart disease or another serious condition and are unable to work, contact an attorney to help you apply for SSD benefits.