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“Heart Failure is Not Fun”

Profiles in perseverance during American Hearth Month in February

No one thinks of heart disease as a "good" thing. It is the leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, a recent study found that 12 percent of people who are awarded Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits qualify due to a circulatory disease. The percentage is even higher for claimants who are over 55. But, there is good news for people who have experienced heart attacks and who live with heart disease.

Prompt medical treatment can limit damage from a heart attack and improve chances for a better quality of life. Although their lives may have been changed, many people with heart disease live active, full lives.

Allsup team members interact with people with heart disease every day, helping them understand their rights and eligibility for SSDI, if they are not able to return to work. By providing a monthly income and eventual access to Medicare, SSDI benefits help people with disabilities maintain or improve their quality of life after they've stopped working.

David Daley continued working for 10 years, even after a major heart attack. But soon after taking early retirement, he realized making ends meet was going to be tough. He drained his savings and got behind on living expenses. His doctors suggested he might qualify for SSDI, and Allsup helped him obtain his SSDI benefits. "It was a great experience," he said. "I'm not rich, but I'm not worried about things I have to pay for. We can make it on this."

Mary Olivas lives with congestive heart failure. Allsup helped her obtain her SSDI benefits after her cardiologist advised her to stop working. "Heart failure is not fun," she said. "I wish I had more stamina for my grandchildren. But if that's all I have to deal with, I'm pretty blessed. I wake up every day and feel very lucky."  

While Allsup provides expert guidance and assistance to help people with heart disease get the disability benefits they deserve, organizations like Mended Hearts and WomenHeart provide the social, emotional and practical support essential to recovery and living well. Read additional stories of inspiration on their websites.

Celebrate American Heart Month this February by learning more about these organizations, and ways you can take care of your heart. Read about "Life After a Heart Attack" and what you can do to prevent heart disease.

If you would like assistance determining your eligibility for SSDI, call (888) 841-2126 or visit