February is American Heart Month

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Allsup pledges to be one in a Million Hearts™, provides tips on keeping heart and finances healthy.

“If you have heart disease or are a stroke survivor, you know firsthand the physical and financial toll it can take, especially if you can’t continue working.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During American Heart Month in February, it’s important to remember that the disease also is a leading cause of disability, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.

“The numbers are overwhelming,” said Tai Venuti, Allsup manager of Strategic Alliances. “More than 2,000 Americans a day die from cardiovascular disease. Thousands more experience severe disability, and their lives are changed in an instant.”

Allsup has helped thousands of stroke survivors and people with heart disease get the SSDI benefits they paid for during their working years, and is pleased to support the Million Hearts™ initiative, a national program led by HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Launched in 2011, it aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over five years.

According to Million Hearts™, heart disease and stroke are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing the nation today, accounting for more than $444 billion in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity in 2010 alone.

“If you have heart disease or are a stroke survivor, you know firsthand the physical and financial toll it can take, especially if you can’t continue working,” Venuti said. “Patients face increased medical costs at the same time that their income shrinks or disappears altogether.”

Steps To Improve Heart Health
Million Hearts™ offers the following tips to help keep your heart in good condition:

Remember your ABCs
A — Appropriate aspirin use: Ask your doctor if aspirin will reduce your risk for heart attacks.
B — Blood pressure control: You can control your blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
C — Cholesterol management: Your healthcare professional can provide guidance to help you lower your cholesterol levels if they’re high.
S — Smoking cessation: Ask your healthcare professional to connect you with tools to help you quit smoking.

Steps To Improve Financial Health
Tips for those with a severe disability caused by cardiovascular disease:

  •     File for SSDI right away. If you can no longer work due to physical and/or mental impairments, you should file as soon as possible. SSDI is a federal insurance benefit you paid for with your FICA taxes.
  •     Get help. Navigating the financial challenges of a sudden loss of income can be overwhelming, especially when you also are dealing with heart disease. But you can improve your financial circumstances with careful planning and by using all resources available to you.

o    Understand your options for professional SSDI representation. There are two major types of paid SSDI representatives—attorney and non-attorney. Finding the right qualified expert can help you get through the Social Security disability process faster and receive your benefits sooner.
o    For information on Social Security Disability Insurance for those who can no longer work, the National Stroke Association and Allsup developed the brochure Stroke and SSDI, available to download or order at http://www.stroke.org.

  •     Connect with resources. A variety of government agencies, private and nonprofit organizations offer valuable assistance. Start by calling your local United Way’s 2-1-1 service with your specific requests. You also can visit Allsup’s online resources at Resources.Allsup.com. You can download the Caregiver Action Network and Allsup’s Financial Planning Toolkit, which features links to a variety of resources. Or, receive customized resources by registering for free at AllsupPlace.com.


Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

Tai Venuti        
(800) 854-1418, ext. 68573

Rebecca Ray
(800) 854-1418, ext. 65065

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Tai Venuti
Allsup, Inc.
(800) 854-1418 68573
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