Heart Condition is a Disability for Jose;
Benefits Awarded After Being Turned Down Twice
Jose, 52, is receiving Social Security Disability benefits, after being turned down twice, at his initial application and again after seeking reconsideration.
His favorable decision came after a hearing before the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), at which Jose’s case was presented by Attorney Neil H. Good.
Jose has a high school diploma and technical training and had worked as an account manager for a manufacturing company for more than 10 years. Before that, he had been an engineering plant manager for two years.
His heart condition (Coronary Artery Disease) makes it impossible for him to work. Jose experienced chest pain while shoveling snow and suffered a myocardial infarction with catheterization. In subsequent months, he had two more incidents of chest pains, requiring hospitalization.
After the first incident, his diagnosis was acute anteroseptal wall myocardial infraction. He also suffers back pain, with lumbar and cervical arthralgia. X-rays of his lumbar spine showed sponyloilsthesis and spondylosis. He also has rheumatoid arthritis, plus difficulty walking, sitting, and standing, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Obesity compounds his cardiac issues and, as Attorney Neil Good noted in his pre-hearing memo, “the combined effects of obesity with cardiovascular impairments can be greater than the effects of each of the impairments considered separately.” Jose also suffers from depression.
Medications include aspirin, Diovan, folic acid, Indomethacin, Lopressor, methotrexate, Niaspan, Plavix, and Tramadol.
The decision was a “partially favorable” one, but one that was almost a complete victory for Jose. The judge found Jose to have become disabled on the day he suffered chest pains while shoveling snow, a mere 3 1/2 months after the onset date cited in the documents. The effect on his benefits has been minimal.