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Recurrent Arrhythmia and Social Security Disability

Recurrent Arrhythmia – Condition and Symptoms

Arrhythmia is a condition affecting the normal rhythm or beating of the heart. The cause of an arrhythmia is related to complications of the electrical system, or current, that controls the heart. Each year 250,000 deaths are directly related to arrhythmias. Due to the high number of deaths due to arrhythmias, an applicant can potentially qualify for disability benefits.

Arrhythmias can be broken down in two categories:

  • Supraventricular Arrhythmia - occurring in the atrium, the top two upper chambers of the heart.
  • Ventricular Arrhythmia - occurring in the ventricles, the two bottom chambers of the heart.

The two categories of arrhythmia are then further defined by the heart rate. A slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute, is termed bradycardia. Tachycardia is a term used to describe heart beats in excess of 100 per minute. And, fibrillation is defined by a fast and uncoordinated heartbeat. Symptoms of arrhythmia include, but are not limited to:

  • Fainting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Light-headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Weakness
  • Sweating

It is important to note that most patients suffering from arrhythmias are also diagnosed with an underlying heart disease such as hypertension, artery disease, or other cardiac disorder.

Substances and drugs such as beta blockers, caffeine, antiarrhythmic, psychotropic drugs, amphetamines, and cocaine have also been linked to arrhythmias. It is not uncommon for some medications used to treat one type of arrhythmia to actually cause another form of arrhythmia in the patient.

There are several tests and treatments available for people with arrhythmias. The tests include an electrocardiogram and electrophysiological testing. An electrocardiograph detects the small amount of electrical current on the skin that is present when the heart beats. Electrocardiograph testing is the most common and least invasive test used to monitor and document arrhythmia. Electrophysiological testing is more invasive but may give a more accurate diagnosis as to the specific cause of the arrhythmia. In order to perform an electrophysiological testing a catheter is inserted in to a vein located in the groin, arm or neck and is worked towards the heart. The catheter is equipped with a camera and allows the doctor to see any abnormalities.

There is a range of options you and physician can discuss to correct arrhythmias. The options may include anti-arrhythmia drugs, ablation (an electrical current used to remove tissue), pacemakers, or an internalcadioverter.

Filing for Social Security Disability with a Diagnosis of Recurrent Arrhythmias

Recurrent arrhythmia is listed in the guide for approved disabilities known as the “Blue Book” in Section 4.00 Cardiovascular - Adult. Along with a diagnosis of recurrent arrhythmias, there are specific criteria that must be evaluated in order to be approved for benefits. One such criterion is the recurrence of cardiac syncope, which is “a brief loss of consciousness due to temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain,” even with prescribed treatment.

Because the disorder can be brought on temporally by some electrolyte abnormalities, digitalis glycoside, or medications, specific test results and a full treatment history will all be considered in order to determine your eligibility for disability benefits.

Documentation required by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in support of your claim includes the results of a complete physical, the results of any heart/cardiovascular test which have been performed, any medical imaging tests, and the results of an exercise tolerance test, if one has been administered. The results of all tests should be current, which generally means you should have results from within the past twelve months.

On occasion, the SSA may require additional testing. If you are instructed to receive additional testing from the SSA, make sure to be at all appointments on time, or to reschedule promptly if you absolutely cannot make a given appointment.

Your Recurrent Arrhythmia Disability Case

Even with a serious condition like Recurrent Arrhythmia, being granted Social Security Disability benefits is not a foregone conclusion. To qualify for benefits, you must clearly demonstrate that your condition prohibits you from performing any type substantial gainful activity. This includes heavy, light, and sedentary work.

Representation by a Social Security disability lawyer who knows his way around the Social Security Disability application process will greatly increase your chances of receiving benefits from the SSA. Unrepresented claimants are denied benefits over 70% of the time, at least in the initial claims process.

Although it’s best to be represented from the time you first file your disability claim, a Social Security disability lawyer can still help you during the appeals process if you filed a claim on your own and were denied disability benefits.

It’s free to consult a Social Security Disability lawyer, as an attorney only collects a fee if your claim is won and you get disability benefits. When your claim is approved, your lawyer will be paid directly from a percentage of the back pay which is awarded to you by the SSA.

If you suffer from recurrent arrhythmia and would like to speak with an attorney about applying for Social Security Disability benefits, fill out a free disability evaluation today.