Prinzmetal Variant Angina and Disability

Hello All,
I was just wondering if anyone with Prinzmetal has applied and recieved disability? I tried to work after my MI and just kept ending up back in the hospital. I am on so many drugs for this disease that just the side effects from these keep me from being able to feel or perform normally. I realize now that I cannot go back to a regular full time job and that was very hard to someone like me who has usually worked two jobs or one job that had very long hours. My last job was opening my own restaurant, my dream job and I had to let it go.
I have not seen anything that list Prinzmetal as a disease that is covered under disability although it is a disease that will not go away, I was born without the genes needed to produce Nitric Oxide, I will always have this problem. That is one of the main questions I see on the application that must be answered, is this a long term affliction?
I also have severe fibromyalgia and now suffer from depression.
I was just wondering if anyone has been successful in getting disability with Prinzmetal and what they had to go through to get it. I know most people are turned down the first time.
I appreciate any advice from my heart sisters.
Thanks and I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for.
Dee Marie

Report post

10 replies. Join the discussion

It took me 3 years, CABG x2, CABG x3, & 9 stents to get disability. 3 days before I was Mercyflighted to the Cleveland Clinic for my 2nd open heart emergant surgery, I had a disability doctor decide that I was fine to return to work because I could touch my toes!!!! I got the notice on my 2nd day home from the hospital. I fought in court & won. The do backpay when you get it but the fight is enough to give you angina!!!!!

Report post

Wow MMaslek, what a fight, I wish now I hadn't already put it off for the past 3 years. I haven't even had the problems you've had but my life is forever changed by this disease. I also have depression and fibromyalgia which doesn't help matters. I am so tired all the time from the diseases and lack any energy and have heard so many things about the hard fight that I guess I have just put it off but times are getting hard and my husband who does road work is getting ready to be laid off. Every little bit coming in helps. I'm on 7 different prescriptions and the L-arginine from the Prinzmetal Study in Cincinnati so I guess I better get with it filling out of paperwork.
Thanks for your comments, sorry you went through so much before they let you on it dear.
Take care heart sister,
Dee Marie

Report post


I have had a pretty ruff year and I was looking at possibly getting disability. During my quest I was told that with SS they will always deny the 1st when a person is trying to get disability through them. I have been told that you have a better chance if before you file your 1st request that you attain an attorney. One that is familiar with the SS Disability requirements. There a lot out there that used to work for SS. The people I know that did themselves said they would have gotten attorney 1st if they had realized how difficult it would be. Out of the many I know only 1 had no problem on her 1st request but she had all of her medical records and a couple of Dr.'s that supported her.

Just thought I'd through my 2cents in. I have not persued the quest as finally after more than a year they found that I had other issues such as anemia and hypothyroidism and now since the latter has been corrected I feel absolutely like a new woman. If only I didn't have to go through this past year that way... I'm sure the Dr's were getting very tired of seeing me and my complaining they finally found out why I was feeling so bad. I do have chest pain when I do too much or get upset so really try to keep my cool. My work schedule is kinda crazy so there are times I get pains but not enough to stop me. I'm thinking there is still something there but don't care to go to the Dr's at this point----I'm just too happy for the 1st time in probably 2yrs. I too have Fibro but I've had it for 30yrs and times like today when it's cloudy and rainy or when stress is high seems to be the worst for me. Maybe I've just gotten used to the constant pain 24x7.

Good Luck with your venture. I hope I was able to help in even a small way.


Report post

Hi Dory,

Boy, I feel your pain hun, my fibro is really acting up since the weather here in Indiana is turning cold and the rains are here. You're right, we do get used to the pain, when I have a good day I tend to stop and wonder "what's wrong today"?? How silly is that? It's just that those days are so far and few in between that they feel "odd" to me.

I did what to tell you that one thing I have read when searching about disability was that SS will approve it (not always the first time as you all have said) but ONLY if you have Prinzmetal WITH artery blockage and will not if you have it with no blockage. I do no understand this at all, it affects you no different in the way it affects your life and you can still suffer a heart attack just from the spasms without the blockage. I don't see how they can say yes to one and no to the other.

When I started at the Prinzmetal Study in Cincy Dr. Glueck said I had one of the worst cases he had come across yes I had no blockage. It was affecting everything about my life and my body though.

I have had some say to go ahead and try it and like you to have a good ssd attorney, to have ALL my records in order and others tell me to go with something else for the disability. The thing is, the Prinzmetal IS my disability and I have tried for years to hold down a job only to have to quit. I have worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs all my life, it sure isn't that I don't WANT to work, I would love to be able to work again, my body just says no.

I sure thank you for your advice Dory, I do believe this site is wonderful for us sharing and helping each other with things others have already been through.

Take care Heart Sister,
Dee Marie

Report post

I think you definately need a SS attorney. I am not an expert on it at all, but my brother and sister in law have custody of their grandson and got a SS attorney for getting the child on SS disability. My sister in law said that under the law, the SS attorney can only charge a certain amount for their services . That was a few years ago, but hopefully that is still true. It would be even better if they did not take a fee if they don't get your the benefits you need.

Report post

Hi Yatchzee,
When I had spoken to a couple SS attorneys I got a couple different reactions from them. A couple said it was best for me to go ahead and try to get the disability and if I failed they would take over for the appeal. A couple others said that they would help from the beginning. Also, the ones that would handle it from the beginning wanted money up front and the others said that they take a down payment and then a percentage of the back pay for however long it was delayed. I only found one who said they only took a percentage and no retainer fee. It is something I need to check on but have been so disappointed to read that SSD won't cover anyone with Prinzmetal who has no blockage. I was born without the genes to even produce the needed Nitric Oxide to keep my arteries from having spasms so it's not like this disease will ever get any better or go away. That's why I was wondering if anyone had ever gotten SSD and didn't have blockage.
Good to speak to you Joyce, I hope you are having a nice Thanksgiving. Having pneumonia has left me here at the house alone and it's kind of lonely today. Grateful to have the heart sisters reaching out to me.
Thanks dear,
Dee Marie

Report post

Hi MoonFairy,

I think you may have read my previous posts regarding my diagnosis of spontaneous coronary artery vasospasm/Prinzmetals, and having suffered three heart attacks from it. My EKG results are always abnormal because of the areas damaged from the MIs. Nevertheless, my EF is fortunately low normal (48-50). Therefore, my EF is way too good to claim disability. I have also gone through long periods of severe fatigue and unexplainable pain. I am doing well -- at the moment.

Do you know what your EF is and have you been told anything about your EF (ejection fraction) being low enough to quality? I have a heart sister that got disability and she does not have any blockages. She has idiopathic cardiomyopathy with a constant <30% EF. She did have about a three year battle to get disability and did have an attorney. At one point when denied, she was told she could get a job as a receptionist (with a 1 and 2 year old at home). She is going off disability now because she now an ICD and has a much better quality of life.

If I were you I would find a doctor to back you up and find a good attorney. My heart sister and I live in Indianapolis. I could ask the name of her attorney if you are interested.

Enjoy the holidays and take time to put your feet up :)

Report post

Hello Survivor,
First off I LOVE your name, we are all survivors here and somehow this group is helping me to keep on with that WANT to be a survivor.

I sure appreciate your advice, I am not aware of EF but I will sure as my doctors about it. I have an appointment Dec. 17 with Dr. Glueck at the study in Cincinnati and will also run it by him. He has said that he will be of any help he can to help get me on disability.

As I had said, if I had occational problems with the angina it would be one thing, but I think that SS needs to look at the fact that I was born with a birth defect of not having the genes that can ever even produce Nitric Oxide. I know that is one thing they want, an ailment that you don't see getting better for the next 12 months. I guess I have that covered : )

I would appreciate the name of that attorney please, I have a few down here but not sure how well versed they are with the process. There is one in Cincinnati but he wanted a fairly large retainer and I just can't afford that right now. I need to find one that will agree to take part of the back pay.

Again, thank you for the information, you are a very sweet heart sister and I hope you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Dee Marie

Report post

Dee Marie ~

I will send you the attorney name in the next day or two. Even though I am doing well, I've said that if I suffer another heart attack, I will seek disability on the grounds of continuous heart attacks that have a profound effect on my mental well-being, ability to be seen as a competent employee and not one is going to require continuous leaves of absences, that are slowly but surely damaging my heart and limiting my quality and length of life. Not to mention the meds that cause side effects ranging from migraine to swelling ankles, and fatigue. I would think that four or more MI's should be given consideration no matter what my EF is. Besides the EF goes up and down depending on what's going on at the time. It's an obviously chronic illness for me, you, and others. I take issue with some older articles I have come across that state that most people never have vasospasm attacks again and that the meds can be discontinued after 3-6 months. That may be true in some cases, but the way the article was written, it passed this rare heart condition off as benign!

Report post

Hi, Dee go back to the other site and ask Dash, about a year ago she told of all she did to get disability, and she was successful.!
PS have you had your magnesium level checked?

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support WomenHeart

Help WomenHeart reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to  WomenHeart

Discussion topics

Heart health links and resources

The SCAD Ladies Stand Up -- Read the special report

Community leaders


The information provided by this online support network through WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and Inspire is for general informational purposes only. The information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, see a doctor immediately. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease never recommends or endorses any specific physicians, products or treatments for any condition.