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Chicago Social Security Disability LawyerThere are many different medical conditions that can affect a person’s health, their ability to work, and their overall quality of life. If a condition is serious enough that it prevents a person from maintaining gainful employment, they may apply for Social Security disability benefits that will provide them with assistance to ensure that they will be able to meet their ongoing needs. People with heart disease may qualify for benefits, but they will need to be sure to provide evidence showing that their condition is severe enough to be considered a disability. By working with an attorney during the process of applying for benefits or appealing the denial of a disability claim, a person can take the correct steps to receive the benefits they need.

Social Security’s Listings for Heart Disease

The Social Security Administration uses a Listing of Impairments to classify different health conditions as disabilities. If a condition meets the requirements of a specific listing, a person will qualify for disability benefits. However, even if a condition is not included in the Listing of Impairments or if a person does not meet the eligibility requirements for a certain condition, they may still be able to receive disability benefits if they can show that the condition has prevented them from participating in work they had done in the past and that they are unable to find other forms of gainful employment due to their medical limitations.

The Listing of Impairments addresses multiple forms of heart disease, including:


illinois social security lawyerIf health issues have affected your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If your condition has lasted or will last for at least one year, and it has prevented you from earning a sufficient income, it may be considered a disability. However, during the process of applying for disability benefits, you will be required to provide extensive evidence demonstrating that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working. Social Security will look at a number of issues during the application process, and one of these is your past relevant work and whether you are still able to perform these types of work.

Evaluating Past Relevant Work

As part of the five-step evaluation process used to determine eligibility for disability benefits, Social Security will look at whether you are currently able to perform past relevant work. To determine whether work you had previously done is relevant, Social Security will consider the following factors:

  • Was the work substantial and gainful? To be relevant, work you had done in the past must be considered substantial gainful activity (SGA). Social Security determines whether work meets this standard based on the amount of income earned, and the applicable SGA amounts are updated each year. For example, in 2010, Social Security defined SGA as $1,000 per month. If you worked during that year in a position where you earned at least that amount, your work may be relevant.


Chicago Social Security Disability AttorneyThere are multiple different types of health conditions that a person may experience that may affect their ability to provide for themselves. In addition to conditions that affect a person’s physical health and capabilities, a variety of mental conditions can impact a person’s ability to work. These include intellectual disabilities that place limitations on the types of work a person can perform. A person who suffers from a condition that is considered a disability may be able to apply for Social Security disability benefits. One issue that can play a role in these cases is a person’s ability to maintain the proper concentration, persistence, or pace while working.

Magistrate Overrules Denial of Benefits Based on Failure to Consider Concentration, Persistence, or Pace

One recent case that was addressed in Illinois courts illustrates how concentration issues may be considered when determining eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. In the case of David N. v. Commissioner of Social Security, the plaintiff appealed the denial of Social Security disability benefits by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), stating that the ALJ did not include limitations related to concentration, persistence, or pace when assessing the plaintiff’s residual functional capacity (RFC).

Based on medical records and evidence, the ALJ determined that the plaintiff had borderline intellectual functioning that resulted in moderate limitations on his ability to understand information, remember details, and apply this information to the work being performed. These moderate limitations also affected his ability to concentrate on work and maintain a consistent pace while working. However, even with these limitations, the ALJ determined that the plaintiff had the RFC to perform work at all levels of exertion while being limited to following simple instructions and carrying out routine tasks. Since the plaintiff would be able to find jobs where he could perform unskilled, light work that fits these limitations, the ALJ denied disability benefits.


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