Is My Angina Enough to Get Disability Benefits?

Question

I have what the doctor calls stable angina. I get chest pain during physical exercise, but it goes away after I take my medicine. Sometimes I get it at work. Is this something I can get disability benefits for?

Answer

Angina, a symptom of coronary artery disease (also known as ischemic heart disease), is a complaint that is frequently cited on  applications for Social Security and SSI disability.  How is angina viewed by the Social Security Administration? While angina  is actually required to qualify for disability for coronary artery disease, having angina alone will not result in the awarding of disability benefits.

A disability applicant with angina also needs to have had  an abnormal stress test, ischemic episodes, or abnormal imaging results, as specified in Social Security's disability listing for ischemic heart disease. Most individuals with coronary artery disease fulfill this requirement by having an angiogram showing  a partial occlusion, or blockage, in a main artery (for example, right coronary artery, left anterior descending artery, or circumflex artery) that is at least a certain percentage (for example, 70% blocked).  For details on the exact requirements, see our article on getting disability benefits for coronary artery disease.

by: Tim Moore, former disability claims examiner for Social Security

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