Tampa Cardiac Disease Attorneys

Get Social Security Disability Representation in Tampa

The area of heart related diseases is one of the most difficult to interpret. The testing performed generates complicated results and your selection of an attorney that is familiar with cardiac terminology is critical to your case. Social Security has set forth a list of cardiac conditions which should automatically qualify you for disability benefits. These are known as "listing level" conditions. They are conditions which are so severe they are considered to preclude substantial employment. The following is just an example of one of the many cardiac listings. Bear in mind that most people with severe heart disease also have co-morbid conditions, like obesity or lung disorders, which must also be considered when determining work limitations.

Again, the following is simply one stand alone example of a condition that is considered disabling. It is reproduced in simple form from Social Security's medical listings to give you an idea of how complicated the cardiac listings are and why you need an attorney with a lot of Social Security experience.

Social Security Listing 4.02 Chronic heart failure - while on a regimen of prescribed treatment, with symptoms and signs de scribed in 4.00D2. The required level of severity for this impairment is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied.

A. Medically documented presence of one of the following:

1. Systolic failure (see 4.00D1a(i)), with left ventricular end diastolic dimensions greater than 6.0 cm or ejection fraction of 30 percent or less during a period of stability (not during an episode of acute heart failure); or

2. Diastolic failure (see 4.00D1a(ii)), with left ventricular posterior wall plus septal thickness totaling 2.5 cm or greater on imaging, with an enlarged left atrium greater than or equal to 4.5 cm, with normal or elevated ejection fraction during a period of stability (not during an episode of acute heart failure);


B. Resulting in one of the following:

1. Persistent symptoms of heart failure which very seriously limit the ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities of daily living in an individual for whom an MC, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, has concluded that the performance of an exercise test would present a significant risk to the individual; or

2. Three or more separate episodes of acute congestive heart failure within a consecutive 12-month period (see 4.00A3e), with evidence of fluid retention (see 4.00D2b (ii)) from clinical and imaging assessments at the time of the episodes, requiring acute extended physician intervention such as hospitalization or emergency room treatment for 12 hours or more, separated by periods of stabilization (see 4.00D4c); or

3. Inability to perform on an exercise tolerance test at a workload equivalent to 5 METs or less due to:

a. Dyspnea, fatigue, palpitations, or chest discomfort; or

b. Three or more consecutive premature ventricular contractions (ventricular tachycardia), or increasing frequency of ventricular ectopy with at least 6 premature ventricular contractions per minute; or

c. Decrease of 10 mm Hg or more in systolic pressure below the baseline systolic blood pressure or the preceding systolic pressure measured during exercise (see 4.00D4d) due to left ventricular dysfunction, despite an increase in workload; or

d. Signs attributable to inadequate cerebral perfusion, such as ataxic gait or mental confusion.


There are many more listing level conditions in the cardiac section, dealing with ischemic heart disease, coronary artery disease (blockage of the arteries), recurrent arrhythmias, symptomatic congenital heart disease, aneurysm of the aorta or other major branches, chronic venous insufficiency, peripheral arterial disease and the effects of heart transplant.

Each listing carries with it a summary of the test results which support listing level severity and in some cases, the expected symptoms resulting from the condition.

When applying for Social Security disability, you will list all your treating physicians. The Administration will obtain records from your heart specialist and interpret the results. In complicated matters, Social Security may have you examined by a doctor of their choosing, or have your records reviewed by a medical doctor. Even if your condition does not specifically match a listed condition, you may still be approved if your condition is substantially equivalent to a listed condition. The trick is to pick out the testing detail that supports your claim.

Sometimes Social Security finds it, sometimes they don't. We have encountered many cases where we argued listing level conditions existed. In such cases, we select the records that support listing level severity and ask your treating cardiologist to confirm our findings. It can be a complicated process as you can glean from the listing above.

Contact Us For Representation

If you have questions related to your cardiac condition, call one of the attorneys at Harris & Riviere. We have over 25 years experience handling cardiac cases. Give us a call at the Tampa office , fill out a case evaluation form, or email.