If you suffer from atrial fibrillation and have got to the point where you cannot work any longer you may have already tried to obtain a social security benefit from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
If your application has been denied, don’t give up hope as a denied benefit claim is quite common. The good news is that as long as you persevere with an appeal you have a better chance of having a denied benefit decision reversed.
Denied benefits for atrial fibrillation are sometimes due to the symptoms not matching the listing in the SSA’s Blue Book. If this is the case, you may find that a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment completed by your doctor might convince the SSA that your disability is severe enough to prevent you from working in paid employment.
Who Can Appeal Denied Disability with Atrial Fibrillation
Anyone who has been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and has evidence that supports the claim that meaningful paid work is now impossible, or likely to be impossible for at least the next 12 months, has the right to lodge an appeal against a denied benefit application.
How an Appeal Can be Successful
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is listed in the Blue Book under section 4.05 Cardiovascular – recurrent arrhythmias. The main criteria for eligibility for a benefit are that you have fainting episodes, have uncontrolled arrhythmia and that treatment has not stopped or reversed the condition.
As often as not, a benefit is denied because of insufficient medical evidence detailing the severity of the disability. You can increase your chance of successfully appealing by making sure you have better medical evidence such as the following:
- a detailed report from your doctor and/or your cardiologist describing the severity of your AF and the limitations it causes;
- testing with an electrocardiogram of the heart’s resting state;
- blood tests;
- evidential correlation between fainting episodes and your atrial fibrillation;
- the use of sound waves (electrocardiogram) to generate images of the chambers of the heart;
- use of catheters to map the spread of the electrical impulses in the heart;
- an exercise tolerance test (ETT), also known as an exercise EKG or stress test;
- Holter monitoring, also known as an EKG, while performing normal activities;
- a list of all medical treatment and outcomes;
- results of CT scans, chest X-rays, MRI scans and / or ultrasound;
- evidence of hospitalizations caused by atrial fibrillation;
How to Use the RFC in an Appeal for a Denied Disability with Atrial Fibrillation
A residual functional capacity assessment can help to support an appeal. Instead of concentrating on medical evidence it uses a series of physical tests to measure your capacity to do physical tasks such as lifting, carrying weights and standing.
The RFC assessment provides evidence of your inability to continue working because of the limitations imposed by your heart’s uncontrolled arrhythmia.
File Your Appeal for Denied Disability With Atrial Fibrillation Promptly
The appeal process is quite protracted and may take many months to come to a definitive decision. There are specific time restraints throughout the process.
For example, you are given 60 days from the date of receipt of the denied benefit decision letter to actually lodge an appeal.
The first step is to ask for reconsideration of your application within that 60 day period. Failing to get the decision reversed after reconsideration, the next step is to request a hearing with an administrative law judge.
When your disability is severe enough to persevere with an appeal, the sooner you start with the appeal process the sooner it will be resolved one way or another.
Get a Free Case Evaluation Today
It is advisable to use a disability lawyer if you do decide to lodge an appeal. The lawyer cannot speed up the appeal process but your chances of success are better if you have effective legal representation.
Start the appeals process now by filling out our Free Disability Evaluation.