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Cardiac Impairment
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Cardiac Impairment Disability Claims Attorneys

Did you know that according to the CDC, approximately 805,000 people have a heart attack every year in the United States? While some people can resume their normal lives after a cardiovascular event, many cannot. These people must file a claim for disability insurance to pay their bills and make ends meet. If you have a heart condition that prevents you from working, you deserve disability benefits. Learn about heart disease, what happens after a cardiovascular event, how to file your short- or long-term disability claim, and how the New York cardiac disability lawyers at the Law Office of Justin Frankel, PC can help. We serve claimants nationwide.

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Signs and Symptoms of Cardiac Disability

The first thing to understand is that the signs and symptoms of heart disease can greatly vary based on the type of heart disease you have. Common symptoms can include but are not limited to the following.

  • Angina (chest pain, tightness, pressure, or discomfort)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting or near-fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Heartbeat changes
  • Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness in the extremities
  • Swollen legs, feet, or ankles

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should immediately seek medical help.

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting

Call 911, contact emergency services, or get to the hospital immediately if you believe you are having a heart attack. Every minute counts.

Common Heart Conditions and Heart Diseases

Heart disease and stroke are the most common cardiovascular diseases, but heart or cardiovascular disabilities include a wide range of conditions that lead to disabilities, including chronic heart failure or congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease (CAD), high blood pressure, and angina.

Heart Disease

Certain risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing heart disease, including stress, smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, and the use of certain medications. The following are types of heart disease.

  • Blood clots
  • Coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Endocarditis

Genetic Heart Conditions

The following list is not exhaustive but contains several types of congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease is a type of heart condition with which you are born, as opposed to one that develops due to other factors. Congenital heart conditions also reflect some physical abnormality in the heart itself.

  • Cyanotic heart disease is a type of heart condition where not enough oxygen is present in the blood.
  • Acyanotic heart disease means there is enough oxygen in the blood, but it is pumped throughout the body abnormally.
  • Atrial septal defects are birth defects where the walls of the upper chambers of the heart have one or more holes present.
  • Coarctation of the aorta is a type of birth defect where some portion of the aorta is abnormally narrow.

Many genetic conditions can also contribute to existing heart conditions or even cause heart conditions. These include Raynaud’s disease, Marfan syndrome, and autoimmune diseases like lupus.

Inherited Heart Conditions

The difference between congenital heart conditions and inherited heart disease is that congenital heart conditions involve problems with the heart’s structure. An inherited heart disease is a heart disease that occurs because you inherited a problem with your genetics, but it may not affect the physical structure of the heart itself.
The following list is not exhaustive, but a few of the more common inherited heart conditions include:

  • Cardiomyopathy is a catch-all term that refers to any disorder affecting the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy results in the heart becoming unable to pump blood properly.
  • High cholesterol can cause scaling or plaque to build up in your veins and arteries, clogging them and resulting in serious heart conditions.
  • Cardiac amyloidosis is a life-threatening heart condition caused by an abnormal protein usually produced in your bone marrow or liver. It can cause your heart to become stiff and to have difficulty relaxing, so it cannot maintain its normal rhythm.

How Heart Disease Impacts Your Ability to Work

Cardiovascular illness ranges from slight, where the person may undergo surgery and take medication before returning to their regular lives, to severe, where the person cannot perform any of the tasks of daily living that were once part of their identity, including working. Many people suffering from heart disease or heart failure exist within this range, with varying degrees of cardiovascular health and ability to return to work and continue to perform their occupational duties.
Depending on the amount of damage sustained by the heart and the person’s overall health, damage to the heart often limits a person’s ability to return to the same activity level. The risk for a subsequent heart attack, stroke, kidney disorder, or peripheral arterial disease differs in every situation. Returning to work depends on the person’s health and the tasks required to perform their job.

It is commonly accepted in medical literature that stress can aggravate inflammation in coronary arteries, leading to blood clots that may trigger a heart attack. Stress is also a contributing factor in preventing people from leading a heart-healthy lifestyle, including taking the time to exercise, preparing heart-healthy foods, and getting enough sleep.

Someone who works at a physically demanding job could be at a greater risk of a heart attack. A surgeon performing complex surgery over many hours, or multiple procedures in a single day, could be under as much stress as someone working in construction. Anxiety can create a rapid heart rate, known as tachycardia, which in extreme cases, can interfere with normal cardiac function and increase the risk of a sudden cardiac event.

Anxiety and stress can lead to elevated blood pressure levels, which are known to lead to stroke and heart disease over time. We often work with our clients’ doctors to develop treatment plans that include regular exercise, diet, therapy, and sleep architecture, which often frustrates or even prevents an insured from working in an occupation requiring traveling or irregular schedules.
Strokes can impact your basic function and motor skills. Heart attacks can limit your physical capabilities. Heart conditions, medications, and other treatments can also result in dizziness, fatigue, and confusion, which can make it harder to get to work or focus on the tasks at hand.

Can the Stress of My Job Make My Heart Condition Worse?

Yes, work-related stress can exacerbate your heart condition. Stress is a factor in illnesses of all sorts. Stress can make it harder for your body to function as it should, as it releases a hormone called cortisol that can impair functions at many levels. Stress raises your blood pressure and can change the way blood clots in your blood vessels, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Many of our clients are surgeons, emergency physicians, C-suite executives, and other professionals who experience stress in their daily lives. Work-related stress is not uncommon and can cause adverse health effects. To learn more about what we can do for your work-related heart condition, schedule a free consultation with our team.

What Heart Conditions Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Which heart issues count as disabling conditions that qualify for short or long-term disability benefits under disability law depends on several factors. These include the symptoms, severity, frequency of recurrence, and the impact these factors have on your ability to work.
One of the most difficult aspects of a heart disease disability claim is the wide range of heart disease, heart conditions, and recovery. For example, one person may have a major cardiovascular event, such as a sudden aneurysm, or suffer damage requiring a heart transplant, despite otherwise enjoying excellent health. Others may have chronic heart failure or recurrent arrhythmias that happen repeatedly.

If those who suffer from a cardiac event are treated quickly by first responders, receive excellent surgical intervention, and sustain limited damage to cardiovascular tissue, they may have a relatively rapid recovery and be able to return to work with normal function and blood flow. Another person may suffer the exact same major cardiovascular event and be unable to return to work, requiring cardiovascular physical therapy, myriad medications, and a stress-free lifestyle.

Cardiovascular disease can be objectively measured in many more ways today than in the past. For example, blood tests can measure certain chemicals appearing in the blood that are used as markers for pre- and post-cardiac events. Troponin, a protein released into the bloodstream after the heart muscle is damaged, is used to confirm that a heart attack took place, and the level may be used as evidence of how much damage to the heart has occurred.

If you need help determining whether your medical conditions are qualifying ones for disability benefits, our New York law firm is ready to help. From the initial application to battling denials, the long-term disability attorneys at the law office of  the Law Office of Justin Frankel have years of experience and knowledge gathering medical evidence, building a case, and fighting for the rights to disability benefits. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation regarding your case.

What Do I Need to Prove My Heart Disease Disability Claim?

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For disability insurance companies, cardiovascular illness is a disease of degrees. Claims agents look at every possible factor, including the claimant’s age, work history, type of work, and related illnesses. The severity of the heart disease and the tasks required by the person’s job are scrutinized very closely. Insurers often argue that a claimant can return to work following a cardiac event and that the risk of future impairment (or death) is insufficient to support a disability claim. Insurers often rely upon improved stress test results or ejection fractions when a claimant has not worked as evidence that they can actually return to work.

The biggest misconception about filing a disability claim for a heart condition is that the claim will be paid based solely on a cardiologist’s diagnosis of a person having a heart attack or heart disease. Each claim is unique, despite the common themes. A disability claim needs a diagnosis, diagnostic proof of the disability, and a detailed explanation of how and why the person can no longer perform the tasks and duties of their occupation.

You will need complete medical evidence to support your claim. You must show that your symptoms make you unable to work. This can include side effects from medication. You must also show that your job presents a significant risk of harm, which can include high-stress environments that increase the risk of a heart attack. You need proof of your diagnosis, test results, an opinion letter from your treating physician, and proof of your treatment.

How Can a New York Disability Lawyer Help Me?

We have effectively countered many of these techniques in support of claimants. Claimants fighting a disability claim for a cardiovascular disease must be sure that their cardiologist and physician indicate in their medical records very specifically what tasks they are no longer able to perform. A simple diagnosis of “heart disease” is not enough. The medical records must reflect their limitations and carefully document their illness.
Your long-term disability attorneys can help with your initial application, and if you have been denied, they can help review the denial and fight back. They can take over communication with the insurance company and represent you in court if needed. They are an important ally in fighting for the benefits you are entitled to under disability law.

We Handle Every Case With Heart

When you work with the law office of the Law Office of Justin Frankel, you work directly with a partner at a caring, compassionate, and dedicated disability law firm. We have many testimonials from satisfied clients across the nation and years of experience doing what we do.
If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of cardiovascular disease and have concerns about disability insurance, call our offices for an initial consultation with a nationwide partner today at 888-583-4959 or click here to send an email. We offer free consultations for all claimants.

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