If you have debilitating heart failure that has made it difficult for you to work, you might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two kinds of disability programs for disabled workers. There are some heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure, that could qualify for disability benefits based on the medical guide criteria.
If you are unable to work because of heart failure, speak with a Social Security attorney or advocate right away to get your claim on track.
How Does Heart Failure Qualify For Disability Benefits?
Heart failure happens when your heart is not pumping an adequate supply of blood out through your body or when the chambers of the heart don’t adequately fill with blood. A chronic condition, it will worsen over time.
Regardless of which kind of heart failure you suffer from, the dangers involve the backup of blood into other bodily systems resulting in congestion of the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, liver, or extremities. An individual can suffer from both diastolic and systolic heart failure together. Heart failure is listed under Section 4.00 of the Blue Book, which covers different kinds of heart failure and symptomatic heart disease as well as cardiac transplants. Section 4.02 addresses chronic heart failure.
To be approved for benefits for chronic heart failure, you must have continuous treatment and meet one of these criteria:
- Have experienced at least three congestive heart failure episodes within a year OR
- Suffer a systolic failure of the heart with the left ventricular having an end diastolic dimension greater than 6.0 cm or an ejection fraction reaching 30% or less while stable, and there is no acute episode and this condition leads to persistent symptoms of heart failure that result in serious limitations. These limitations then impair your ability to be independent and handle daily tasks and render you unable to perform any exercise tests without facing serious health risks OR
- You are unable to perform an exercise test that has a workload not exceeding 5 METS because of the severity of your symptoms, ataxic gait or mental confusion, three or more episodes of tachycardia, left ventricular dysfunction leading to a decrease of 10mm HG or more systolic pressure, or other problems.
How Can an Attorney Help Me While Applying?
To prove the severity of your condition and be approved for benefits, documentation is the key. You will need to present all medical records, including stress test results, lab reports, surgical notes if applicable, physician notes, prescription records, treatment records, and any other documents that prove your condition’s severity and show how you are impacted.
Your attorney will work to ensure your case is properly reviewed and handled with Disability Determination Services having access to your documentation so they can fairly consider your case.
How Can An Attorney Help Me If My Claim Is Denied?
Disability claims receive fast denials often, but usually it is because of a lack of documentation or evidence to support your claim. Your attorney will appeal the decision and will request a hearing before an administrative law judge. You will be questioned by a vocational expert at the hearing, but your attorney will help you prepare.
Here are some questions that you might be asked. “Does the exertion you suffer impact your ability to stand long periods?” “Has your heart condition affected your ability to bend over and lift or reach above your head?” “Does your condition cause mental confusion or affect your memory?”
Connect With an Attorney Today
To get in contact with a Social Security attorney or advocate in your area, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. With the right help, you can make sure your claim stays on the right track.