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Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis and Social Security Disability

Each and every year, millions of hard-working Americans are faced with disabling conditions that prevent them from carrying on their usual gainful work activity. When these workers were previously able to maintain full-time employment, they paid taxes into the Social Security System each time they received a paycheck. It is understandable then that these workers would expect Social Security Disability benefits to be there for them when faced with a long-term or permanent disabling condition.

Unfortunately, actually obtaining Social Security Disability payments is usually a case of “easier said than done”. Nearly 70 percent of the disability claims received each year are denied by the Social Security Administration, resulting in the need for a disability appeal. Because there are millions of appeals backlogged in the Social Security system, it can take years before a disability applicant ever sees a payment from the Social Security Administration.

Unfortunately, some Social Security Disability applicants do not have years to wait before payments begin. These individuals suffer from conditions that are so severe that they warrant immediate attention from the Social Security Administration. The SSA addressed this fact in 2008 and implemented the Compassionate Allowances program.

Under the Compassion Allowances Listings, certain individuals can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in a matter of weeks instead of waiting months or years for benefits to begin. Until recently, there were only 88 conditions that might qualify an individual for claim processing under these guidelines. In 2011 there were 12 more conditions added to the Compassionate Allowances Listings, including primary cardiac amyloidosis.

If you have been diagnosed with primary cardiac amyloidosis and are wondering how the SSA reviews claims that are based on a diagnosis of this condition, the following information will help you understand how you can increase your chances of a quick and hassle-free Social Security Disability approval.

Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis Condition and Symptoms

Primary cardiac amyloidosis is a heart disease that is caused by deposits of abnormal proteins in the tissues of the heart. These proteins are referred to as amyloids and when they develop they slowly begin to replace the normal heart tissue. This causes the heart to become stiff and unable to function properly.

In a normal and healthy heart, electrical signals move through the organ to conduct various functions. When a patient is suffering from primary cardiac amyloidosis, the stiffening of the heart prevents the electrical signals from moving properly, which leads to heart blocks and irregular heart rhythms.

Although this disease is rare, it does occur more frequently in men than it does in women. It is also rarer for it to occur in people under the age of 40, although some cases have been recorded of younger individuals developing the condition.

Symptoms of primary cardiac amyloidosis vary depending on the stage of the condition and the severity of the disease. Common symptoms include heart palpitations, trouble breathing, excessive urination (usually at night), fluid retention, heart palpitations, swelling of the ankles and legs and trouble breathing in a laying position.

Primary cardiac amyloidosis is a progressive condition. Once it develops it worsens over time. By the time a patient is diagnosed, the disease is usually very advanced. The average patient will survive less than one year after the diagnosis of the disease.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis

If you have been diagnosed with primary cardiac amyloidosis it is important to understand that even though the condition is included in the SSA's Compassion Allowances Listings, it does not mean that you will automatically be approved for Social Security Disability benefits. You will need to fill out the claim forms properly and provide the SSA with sufficient medical evidence in order to prove that you meet the guidelines that have been published by the Social Security Administration. Check the status of your claim regularly to see if there any updates and if your claim has been denied, be sure to file an appeal within 60 days.

To avoid the need for a disability appeal, make sure that you completely fill out all of your claim forms and provide the SSA with all of the required medical evidence. In order to approve your Social Security Disability claim, the adjudicator reviewing your file will need to see evidence of a clinical examination that describes diagnostic features of the disease and laboratory studies that confirm the diagnosis such as a chest or abdomen CT scan, coronary angiography, echocardiogram, MRI, or nuclear heart scans. Results of a cardiac biopsy may also support your Social Security Disability claim.

Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis and Your Social Security Disability Case

While the Social Security Administration does not make a habit out of denying Social Security Disability claims that are based on Compassionate Allowances Listings, it has been known to happen. Usually this is due to improperly completed disability claim forms or a lack of sufficient medical evidence.

If you would like to increase your chances of being awarded disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process and under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, you should consider retaining the services of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate. These professionals can help you prepare your application properly and will ensure that you submit sufficient medical evidence with your claim for disability benefits.