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What is the SSA's definition of cardiovascular impairment?

As many Newark, New Jersey, residents know, the Social Security Disability benefits program, run by the Social Security Administration, covers a number of illnesses. Among those, cardiovascular impairments are listed under Section 4.00 of the SSA's Blue Book. The SSA, however, has its own set of definitions for qualifying illnesses. To file a successful application and thereby receive benefits, it is important that an applicant has complete understanding of those definitions.

Broadly speaking, the SSA defines cardiovascular impairment as any disorder or illness that has a direct impact on the smooth functioning of the heart or the cardiovascular system. The disorders can be either acquired or congenital. Further, the SSA defines cardiovascular impairments as disorders that are a result of any one or more of the following consequences of a heart disease.

  • A disease of the heart that leads to ventricular dysfunction or the chronic failure of the heart
  • Pain or discomfort that is a result of myocardial ischemia, regardless of whether it is with or without the heart muscle's necrosis
  • A condition that causes inadequate cerebral profusion, which leads to syncope, or near syncope and therefore, impedes the performance of the cardiac system
  • Cyanosis that is caused either by left-to-right shunt, lack of oxygen in the blood or pulmonary vascular diseases

The SSA's definition of disabling conditions of the cardiovascular system is based on signs and symptoms observed through extensive research.The SSA tries to cover all possible conditions but still, anomalies remain. The conditions are clearly mentioned in the Blue Book but understanding a plethora of medical and scientific terms may be a challenge for some. Therefore, they may consider seeking advice from an attorney who is experienced in helping people apply, appeal and obtain SSD benefits.

Source: SSA.gov, "4.00 Cardiovascular System - Adult," Accessed on Dec. 25, 2014

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