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Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient and Social Security Disability

Of the millions of Social Security Disability applications that are received each year, as many as 70 percent are denied during the initial stage of the application process. The applicants who are denied their benefits must then undergo a lengthy and complex disability appeal in order to obtain the benefits that they are entitled to. Unfortunately, the appeal process is anything but fast and easy. It takes some applicants more than two years to complete a disability appeal. That means two years of waiting to see a payment from the Social Security Administration.

For some Social Security Disability applicants, waiting two years to complete the disability claim and appeal process is completely unacceptable. Individuals who face severe and life-threatening disabilities should be entitled to faster processing times and should receive expedited financial help. In 2008 the Social Security Administration recognized this fact and implemented the Compassionate Allowances program.

Until recently there were only 88 conditions that would quality an individual for claim processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Now the SSA has added 12 more conditions to that list. Some of the new applicants who will benefit from this guideline expansion are those who have received a left ventricular assist device (LAVD).

If you have suffered from heart disease and have been the recipient of an LAVD, you may now qualify for disability payments from the Social Security Administration in less than a month. The following information will help you understand how you can increase your chances of obtaining expedited approval of your Social Security Disability claim under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient Condition and Symptoms

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Many of the patients who suffer from the condition will, at some point, be in need of a heart transplant. Unfortunately, the waiting list for heart transplants is very long and those who need them usually pass away before a heart becomes available. This is where left ventricular assist devices come into play.

Left ventricular assist devices, also known as LVADs, work to repair a section of the heart rather than replacing it via a human heart transplant. Patients who would have had to remain on a heart transplant list in the past can now have function of the damaged portion of their heart restored with an LVAD.

In some cases, an LVAD can also help an individual who is in need of a heart transplant by extending the amount of time that the patient can survive without the transplant. Some estimate that LVADs can extend a patient's life by ten or fifteen years, giving them a much greater chance of surviving long enough to receive the heart transplant they need.

In other cases, LVADs may be used during or after a patient's surgery. As the patient's heart is recovering from surgery, the LVAD can be used until the heart is strong enough to work on its own.

Filing for Social Security Disability as a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient

Left ventricular assist device recipients undergo severe and invasive surgery. As such, they are in no condition to perform substantial gainful work activity once the surgery has been completed. The SSA has recognized this fact and has included LAVD recipients in their Compassionate Allowances listings.

When submitting your Social Security Disability claim, you will need to provide the SSA with as much medical evidence as possible to support your claim and prove your condition. This means providing the adjudicator who is reviewing your file with a clinical description of the treating physician's findings, hospital admission and discharge summaries, the patient's operative report, a cardiology consultation, imaging studies, electrocardiogram (EKG), and echocardiography results.

This evidence will help support your case for Social Security Disability benefits and will help the adjudicator who is reviewing your file understand how your condition qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Applying As a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient and Your Social Security Disability Case

Many of the disabled individuals who file 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 claim may indeed be denied and you will have to undergo a disability appeal in order to obtain the Social Security Disability benefits you need.

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 disability attorney or disability advocate. These professionals can help you prepare your claim and will make sure that you have acquired the medical evidence that the SSA will need to see in order to approve your claim quickly and without hassle.