The Social Security Administration will receive millions of Social Security Disability claims this year alone. As many as 70 percent of those claims will be denied during the initial stage of the application process if history is any indication of the SSA's future approval rates. Unfortunately, the applicants who are denied disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process will need to file an appeal in order to receive the disability benefits that they may be entitled to.
Many disability applications are surprised to discover that the Social Security Disability appeal process can take more than two years to complete. The extensive waiting periods are due to the fact that there is an overwhelming backlog of appeals in the Social Security system. The more claims the SSA denies, the larger that backlog becomes.
Prior to 2008 all disability claims were handled the same way and the SSA treated all disabilities equally. Unfortunately, at that time, the SSA did not acknowledge the fact that not all disabilities are created equal. Finally, in 2008 the SSA addressed this fact and implemented the Compassionate Allowances Listings. Under the guidelines of this program, individuals with certain disabilities could be approved for Social Security Disability benefits in a matter of weeks instead of waiting months, or even years, before seeing their first disability payment from the Social Security Administration.
Up until recently there were only 88 conditions that would qualify a disability applicant for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. In 2011 there were 12 more conditions added to this list, including disability applicants who are on the heart transplant waiting list in category 1A or 1B.
If you are in category 1A or 1B of the heart transplant waiting list, you can now qualify for Social Security Disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowances Listings. The following information will help you understand how your disability claim will be reviewed by the SSA and how you can increase your chances of obtaining your benefits quickly under the SSA's Compassion Allowances guidelines.
Heart Transplant Wait List (1A/1B) Condition and Symptoms
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Millions of people develop a heart-related condition each year, but some are more severe than others. For some people, the heart can no longer work the way that it needs to in order to sustain life, and these people are in desperate need of a heart transplant.
A heart transplant is a surgery that involves replacing a patient's damaged heart with a healthy heart from an organ donor. Approximately 99 percent of these surgeries are performed on people who are in the end stages of heart failure, meaning that all other treatment options have failed and a heart transplant is their only hope for survival.
Because donors of critical organs such as the heart are not widely available, the waiting list for a heart transplant is very long and the individuals who need a heart transplant must go through a very selective screening process. If an individual passes the screening process, they are then placed on the waiting list to receive a heart.
The heart transplant waiting list is not organized on a “first come first serve” basis. The severity of the patient's condition is what determines their place on the list. Their blood type, body weight and where they live will also have an impact on how quickly they can receive a heart transplant.
People who are given the Status of 1A have the highest priority on the waiting list for a heart transplant. These are the individuals who must remain in in-patient hospital care with a ventricular assist device until the transplant can occur. Individuals who have a life expectancy of a week or less without a heart transplant are also given a priority of 1A.
Individuals who are classified as 1B are those who do not usually have to stay in the hospital for in-patient care, but they do need to receive intravenous medications and may need the help of a ventricular assist device. These individuals are given second-highest priority on the heart transplant wait list and are classified in category 1B.
Filing for Social Security Disability as a Heart Transplant Waiting List Patient in Category 1A or 1B
Individuals who are on the waiting list for a heart transplant are obviously suffering from severe heart disease and are in no condition to maintain any form of employment. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has finally recognized the severity of this situation and has included these individuals for Social Security Disability eligibility under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
When submitting your Social Security Disability claim, you need to take care to provide the SSA with as much information and medical evidence as possible. When filling out your claim forms, be as detailed as possible and give thorough answers when answering the application questions. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for the adjudicator who is reviewing your file to understand the severity of your condition and how it qualifies your Social Security Disability claim for processing under the Compassionate Allowances Listings.
Medical evidence will also be crucial to the success of your Social Security Disability claim. In the case of a patient who is on a heart transplant waiting list, the SSA will need to see a copy of a clinical description of your physician's findings, operative reports, cardiology consultation reports, x-ray copies showing heart failure, electrocardiogram results showing indications of the need for mechanical assist devices such as ICDs or VADs and documentation proving your waiting list status.
Applying As a Heart Transplant Wait List Patient (1A or 1B) and Your Social Security Disability Case
Many of the disabled individuals who file Social Security Disability claims with the Social Security Administration assume that those claims will be automatically approved if they fall within the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you do not fill out your claim forms properly or do not submit the right medical evidence, your Social Security Disability claim may actually be denied during the initial stage of the application process and you will need to undergo a disability appeal in order to obtain the Social Security Disability benefits you are entitled to.
If you want to increase your chances of a hassle-free approval of your Social Security Disability benefits, you may want to consider the services of a qualified disability attorney or disability advocate. These professionals can help you prepare your claim paperwork and will make sure that you have acquired the medical evidence that will be needed by the SSA in order to approve your claim quickly and without any hassle.