February Is American Heart Month – Heart Disease Is A Leading Cause Of Disability
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
Heart disease has now become the number one cause of death in the United States and is a leading factor in disability claims. Success in winning a heart disease disability claim requires, among other factors, a documented record of being under the care of a cardiologist or primary care physician or cardiac surgeon. Without it, the disability insurance company claims adjuster will be skeptical about the validity of a cardiovascular or heart attack disability claim.
Because of the frequency of heart disease in the adult population, paired with the extremely wide range of cardiac conditions, disability claims decisions are given close scrutiny. Has your capacity been diminished to such a degree that you can no longer perform the material tasks of your occupation? What medical evaluations have taken place that can substantiate this claim?
The medical report will need to clearly show that the heart muscle is damaged and cannot pump enough oxygen enriched blood, or a blockage in the blood vessels leading to your heart makes you unable to function. Any diagnosis must be backed up by EKGs – electrocardiograms – CT or MRI scans, or any of the diagnostic tests used to measure cardiac health.
Be prepared for your heart disease disability claim to be challenged. One person’s mild cardiac “event” – even when it leads to the insertion of multiple stents and repeated angiograms – may be devastating to one person, a mere hiccough for another. The nature of your occupation is another factor to consider. A high-pressure floor trader in a national stock exchange can easily demonstrate a strong correlation between a high stress job and a cardiac event. A worker with a sedentary, low-stress job with the same cardiac event may have a harder case to make to win a disability claim.
All too often, we see insurance companies ignoring the stress associated with work, and its impact upon those with heart disease or other cardiac conditions. It is imperative to develop a claim record to demonstrate the stress related issues, and to be able to articulate how and why your condition impacts your ability to work.
Another concern with these claims is that once a claimant stops working, and thus reduces their level of stress, the exercise testing may reveal a greater capacity than when working. Many insurance companies will then rely upon one’s “improved” results to terminate a claim.
If you have been fighting to get disability insurance benefits and cannot work in your profession as the result of heart disease, high blood pressure or stroke, call our office at 1-877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524). If you are disabled as a result of a heart attack, the last thing you should be doing is worrying about your disability insurance policy. We can help.