Heart disease is one of the leading reasons why people apply for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI). Many heart conditions are listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments under Section 4.00, Cardiovascular System.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses these criteria in these listings to determine if an applicant is eligible to receive SSDI.  SSA will not pay for tests. It is solely up to your doctor to determine what tests are approriate to diagnose and treat  you condition.In many cases, test results are necessary to determine the severity of the of the heart condition.

Common tests include:

  • Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) – The exercise tolerance test is used to measure the heart’s performance during exertion. A patient is instructed to walk on a treadmill or ride a bike while the doctor records the activity of the heart using an electrocardiogram (ECG). The ETT is often used to determine the severity of ischemic heart disease or chronic heart failure.
  • Doppler test – The Doppler test uses ultrasound to observe blood flow in the legs as a patient walks on a treadmill. This helps doctors diagnose areas with reduced blood flow and potential blood clots. A Doppler test may be required for SSDI applicants with peripheral vascular or peripheral arterial disease, or with chronic heart failure.


Exercise tests may be dangerous for those with severe heart conditions. Your doctor will determine what tests are right for you.

Do you have additional questions about SSDI for heart conditions or about the SSDI application process? Find the answers in our free brochure, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case, or contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 and free evlauation with an Omaha disability benefits lawyer.

Sean D. Cuddigan
Connect with me
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska