The month of February is American Heart Month, and there are public service announcements and educational efforts throughout the month designed to draw attention to the serious risks of heart disease. Each year in the United States, around 600,000 people die from heart disease. These deaths account for around ¼ of all deaths over the course of the year. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for women, although many people incorrectly assume that breast cancer is the top killer of females.
In addition to American Heart Month, February also has several other days devoted to bringing attention to serious health problems. For example, World Cancer Day is February 4, and National Organ Donor Day is February 14.
The myriad health-related events in the month of February are an important reminder that people every day get sick or hurt and become disabled. Often, these disabilities end a career and make it impossible to work, throwing families into chaos as they lose a breadwinner and face crippling medical bills. The Social Security Disability (SSD) program should be there for those who are sick and who need help, but it can sometimes be hard to qualify for disability income. A Boston SSD lawyer can help applicants to qualify for benefits or appeal denials.
Benefits for the Disabled
People with both cancer and heart disease can generally qualify for SSD benefits provided that their conditions meet the criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration. The SSA has a “Blue Book” or a Listing of Impairments. This Blue Book addresses cardiovascular disorders in section 4.00 of the Adult Listings. Some of the different heart conditions covered within this section include:
- Chronic heart failure
- Ischemic heart disease
- Heart transplants
- Aneurysms of the major branches of the heart
- Peripheral arterial disease
For each listed condition, there are specific symptoms that the patient suffering form heart disease would need to have in order to be eligible for SSD benefits.
Other conditions like various cancers are also listed in the Blue Book. For example, section 13.00 of the Adult Listings details the different malignant neoplastic diseases that can make you eligible for benefits. These conditions can include:
- Thyroid cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Stomach cancer
Most of the types of cancer that you can be afflicted with are considered “compassionate allowance” conditions if the cancer has metastasized or if it is not responding to treatment. This means that benefits can be fast-tracked and you can get approval quickly.
Every Disabled Person Needs Help
Cancer and heart disease are two conditions that get a lot of attention and a lot of research funding, since they affect so many people. Events like World Cancer Day and American Heart Month are just some of the many efforts that go towards fighting for those who are afflicted with these common ailments. The fact that the SSA makes it easier for patients afflicted with certain types of these conditions to get benefit is also a good thing, since people who are really sick count on the SSA to provide income.
However, it is important to remember that there are a lot of disabling medical conditions, and that everyone who is sick or impaired is deserving of help, regardless of whether their condition is one that gets a lot of public attention. Those with less common conditions are deserving of SSD benefits too, and should get legal help if their claims for benefits are denied by the Social Security Administration.
If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Jobless Don’t Seek SSDI Benefits as Default, Dec. 15, 2014, Boston SSDI Attorney Blog