Using an RFC When Applying For Benefits With Heart Failure

Sometimes people who are unable to work and earn a living have disability claims denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) because they cannot meet the specific medical criteria of the listing in the Blue Book. These claimants can sometimes be approved for disability benefits through a medical vocational allowance along with a residual functional capacity (RFC). If you did not meet the Blue Book listing for your disability claim because of heart failure, you may qualify when using an RFC.

How To Use the RFC When You Have Heart Failure

If you suffer from heart failure, your symptoms could include edema of the legs and arms, chest pain, fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Your treating physician, preferably your treating cardiologist, can complete an RFC and detail your restrictions and limitations. The RFC is detailed and paints a clear picture of your abilities for the disability examiner.

As an example, the RFC may indicate because of shortness of breath, you may need to take breaks every 30 minutes. Because of the fatigue and pain, you may not be able to stand more than 30 minutes, and you may not be able to walk without the help of a cane or some other assistive device. It will also detail how much you can lift, if you can bend or squat, if you can reach above your head, and if you can grasp things and do fingering, such as sorting papers.

As an example, you are 60 and you have worked as a salesman your entire career. After being diagnosed with heart failure, you are unable to walk around the sales floor constantly, you cannot bend and squat, you are unable to lift more than 5 pounds, and you are unable to reach above your head. The RFC shows that you cannot return to your same line of work.

What To Include With Your RFC For Heart Failure

When you send in your RFC to the SSA, you will also need to include your completed disability benefits application. You will also need to provide your medical records, specifically those that apply to your heart failure. These could include notes from your cardiologist, blood tests and lab work, scans and imaging that pertain to your heart and that detail the severity of your condition, and any hospital records that are relevant to your heart failure.

If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you will need to provide a detailed work history for the last 10 years that will help determine if you have earned enough credits to qualify for SSDI. Applicants without a work history can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is needs-based, so you will need to provide proof of income and resources.


Get Help With Your RFC For Heart Failure

Disability claimants represented by an attorney are much more likely to have their claims approved. An attorney is familiar with the claims process and will be able to review your medical records and ensure that you have everything in order to get your claim approved.

Disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they will not be paid until you win your claim and are approved for disability benefits. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page today!

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