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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Ischemic Heart Disease? > Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Ischemic Heart Disease?

Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have ischemic heart disease or cardiac problems to get the disability benefits they deserve.

Ischemic heart disease causes recurring chest pain during excitement or exertion, when the heart needs a greater blood flow.  Your heart just doesn’t get enough blood.

Ischemic heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, includes stable angina, unstable angina, and heart attacks. Not everyone with ischemic heart disease is entitled to disability benefits.

How Do Disability Carriers View Ischemic Heart Disease Disability Claims?

Unfortunately, many ischemic heart disease and cardiac claims are denied because the disability insurance company says:

(1) There is no objective basis of the ischemic heart disease or cardiac diagnosis,

(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician, or

(3) There is no causal relationship between your ischemic heart disease or cardiac condition and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation.

(4) There is no reason you can’t work in a sedentary capacity.

Common Reasons Carriers Deny ischemic Heart Disease or Cardiac Claims

Disability insurance companies cite other reasons to deny claims:

  • You should be able to return to work despite your chest pain,
  • You should be able to return to work if your symptoms are under control with medication,
  • Your cardiac testing is normal so you should be able to return to work,
  • Your cardiac symptoms are subjective,
  • The risk of increased symptoms or relapse if you return to work is not a relevant consideration, and
  • The stress of the work environment is not a relevant consideration.

Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with ischemic heart disease or cardiac claims. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician to prove why your ischemic heart disease prevents you from the physical aspects of your or any occupation.

She will even hire a vocational rehabilitation counselor to address the impact your symptoms, side effects of medication and stress have on your ability to return to your occupation or any occupation. Fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain can make it impossible for executives and professionals to perform their occupation.

It is key that you document your inability to deal with stress, from both a medical and a vocational standpoint.

Your physician and the vocational evaluator also can explain how performing your occupation or any occupation creates a significant risk of harm because of stress. It is important that the medical and vocational aspects of your claim each be fully documented and explained so the carrier understands what happens to you in stressful situations.

If you are ready to file a disability application and want to improve your chances of getting disability benefits, or if your claim for ischemic heart disease or cardiac problems has been denied, it is time to call Nancy Cavey.

She offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.

What Are The Most Common Types of Ischemic Heart Disease?


The hardening and narrowing of your arteries slowly blocks them and puts your blood flow at risk. Plaque can fill the artery wall, become a blockage or break loose and cause a blood clot.  Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease.

Physicians can open up the blockage by using cardiac catherization to access diseased arteries and a stent to open up the blockage or bypass a blocked artery.


Arteriosclerosis, commonly called “hardening of the arteries,” occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to your body become thick and stiff. In addition to causing heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease, arteriosclerosis can develop into high blood pressure or kidney failure.

Coronary Heart Disease

When your heart’s pumping power is weak, blood moves slowly through the heart and body. The heart just can’t pump enough oxygen. The chambers of the heart stretch to hold more blood to pump though the body, or they become stiff and thickened.

As the heart muscles weaken and become less efficient, the kidneys can respond by retaining water and salt. Fluid builds up in the arms, legs, feet and lungs. The body becomes congested.

The two types of heart failure are systolic and diastolic dysfunction. An echocardiogram, which measures how well your heart pumps with each beat, is used to determine what type of heart failure you have.

What Are The Symptoms of Ischemic Heart Disease or Cardiac Problems?

Symptoms can be mild to severe, and they can come and go with exertion. Common symptoms that disability carriers ignore include:

  • Shortness of breath at rest or with exercise, wheezing or a hacking cough,
  • Chest pain,
  • Heart palpitations,
  • Swelling of the feet and hands,
  • Nausea,
  • Sweating,
  • Dizziness, fatigue, weakness and confusion,
  • Difficulty with exertion, including walking, lifting and carrying, and
  • Side effects of medication.

Your physician rates the stages of heart failure using the New York Heart Association classification, which rates your symptoms and functional limitations. It is crucial that at each visit you give your physician an accurate and complete history of your symptoms and how they impact your functionality. Be sure to explain how stress impacts your symptoms.

How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?

Ischemic heart disease and cardiac problems can make it difficult, if not impossible, to do things around your home and work. If you no longer can work or your doctor has told you to apply for disability benefits, you should take steps before you apply:

  1. Obtain a copy of your disability policy. See how it defines “disability,” “occupation” and “self-reported conditions.” You’ll need to understand what you have to prove to get your benefits because of ischemic heart disease and cardiac problems.

Your policy can include a self-reported limitation. It limits how long you can get benefits that result from self-reported symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue. You’ll want to know what’s in your policy before you apply for benefits.

  1. Obtain a copy of your medical records. Review them to see if there is an objective basis for your diagnosis, what your records say about your report of symptoms and your restrictions and limitations. It’s crucial you have testing to document the reason for your symptoms and the severity of those symptoms.
  2. Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your ischemic heart disease and cardiac problems have affected your work performance.
  3. Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation.
  4. Provide your doctor with the occupational description. Ask your doctor to prepare a report that explains the objective basis for your diagnosis, the objective basis of your restrictions and limitations, and the objective reasons you can’t perform some or all of the material and substantial duties of your occupation.
  5. Prepare a diary that explains and gives examples of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis and the side effects of your medication.
  6. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you file your initial application. The application process is confusing and designed so you and your physician make mistakes that can result in a delay or even a denial of your benefits. Ms. Cavey knows how to prepare and file a winning shock and awe disability application that leaves the carrier little reason to question your claim.
  7. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you appeal a wrongful denial or termination of your disability benefits. Disability carriers are in the business of collecting premiums and not paying disability benefits. They’ll use any reason to deny your claim. The odds of getting your benefits on appeal are greater when you are represented by an experienced ERISA/private ID policy disability attorney.

Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live

Ischemic heart disease can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Nancy Cavey can review your policy and your medical records, and explain to you what your policy says and how to get your disability benefits.  Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.