Cardiomyopathy refers to a disease of the heart muscle. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the ankles, fluid in the lungs, heart enlargement, swelling of the liver, heart arrhythmias, passing out, angina, and palpitations. There are two main tests that will show the extent of heart muscle damage. A cardiac catheterization or an echocardiogram will show the left ventricular ejection fraction, which is the proportion of the blood and the ventricles which is ejected during a heartbeat.
The Social Security Administration pays very close attention to the ejection fraction numbers:
|65% ejection fraction||Normal|
|30% or less||Person will feel extremely weak|
|20% or less||Person will need heart transplant|
Any number approaching the 30% level should be very persuasive to the Social Security Administration for an award of benefits. However sometimes if alcoholism and/or drug abuse have caused cardiomyopathy, the Social Security judge may resist looking favorably upon the case because of an internal bias.