Dr. Ileana Piña, a You’re the Cure advocate from Ohio, spoke out for patients with severe forms of cardiovascular disease at a November 9th Social Security Administration (SSA) hearing. Dr. Piña represented the American Heart Association at the hearing, which focused on improving the Social Security disability process for patients with severe CVD.
During her presentation, Dr. Piña provided an overview of some of the more severe types of CVD, explained the symptoms patients with CVD may experience, and discussed the different tools that can be used to measure how CVD affects a patient’s ability to function normally. She also recommended that the SSA add several forms of severe CVD such as certain forms of advanced heart failure and certain forms of congenital heart disease to the agency’s “compassionate allowances” list. The compassionate allowances list includes medical conditions that are so severe that they prevent patients from working and performing normal day-to-day activities. The SSA uses the compassionate allowances list to quickly identify individuals with serious medical conditions who will likely qualify for disability benefits, shortening and simplifying the disability application process for these individuals.
The SSA will take the information it learned at the hearing to determine what forms of severe CVD should be added to the compassionate allowances list.
For more information about the hearing or the compassionate allowances process, see http://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/.