Monday, May 16, 2022

Can You Get Social Security Disability For Congestive Heart Failure

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About Congestive Heart Failure And Disability

Can I apply for Social Security Disability Benefits because of congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure, also known as chronic heart failure, is the inability of the heart to pump enough oxygenated blood to the body tissues. Congestive or chronic heart failure affects about 5 million people in the U.S., and is increasing due to the aging of the population.

The hearts ability to pump blood may be impaired by a variety of causes including myocardial infarction , ischemic heart disease , and cardiomyopathy. The failure of the ventricles to pump blood efficiently results in blood accumulating in the heart, and enlargement of the ventricles.

Chronic Heart Failure Is Caused By A Variety Of Conditions That Overwork And Damage Heart Muscle Including:

  • Coronary artery disease arteries that are narrow or blocked decrease blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Heart attack damages heart muscle and results in scarring.
  • Cardiomyopathy damage to heart muscle caused by infections, alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Hypertension/high blood pressure.
  • Loss of appetite, nausea
  • Skin that appears blue

Your Symptoms And Activities Of Daily Living

Your symptoms are important. In considering activities of daily living , you should make every effort to provide the Social Security Administration with clear examples of activities that precipitate symptomswhether those symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness or something else.

Can you walk half a mile? A block? Half a block? Up two flights of stairs? One flight? How are you affected by heat and cold, with specific examples? What objects can you lift? How far can you carry them? What activities could you perform before you had heart disease that you are no longer able to do?

Even if you can complete many activities, but at a slower than normal pace, you may not have functional capacity for an effective work-related ability. So, activity completion durations are important in all forms of heart disease. If you can walk half a mile but it takes an hour with frequent stops, because of shortness of breath or anginal chest pain, it would be ridiculous to consider this a meaningful walking distance for any real-life job function.

Most treating physicians do not know the level of detail about a claimants activities of daily living that is needed for accurate adjudication. While their opinion is important, detailed information about ADLs almost always must come from you or people who have observed you in daily life.

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What Is Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic heart disease is otherwise known as coronary artery disease, and it is the number one killer of men and women in the US, as well as a major cause of people applying for Social Security Disability benefits. It is characterized by the narrowing and/or hardening of the arteries that provide the cardiac muscle with blood, or the coronary arteries. This happens as the result of fatty plaques building up on artery walls in a process that is known to medical professionals as atherosclerosis. These fatty plaques are comprised of collagen, cholesterol and proteins, as well as erroneous excessive smooth muscle cells.

The process by which this fatty plaque buildup occurs causing ischemic heart disease is a long one, taking a lifetime to occur. It happens gradually and slowly by efficiently narrows the blood flow down to a trickle or stops it altogether, causing a plethora of further heart problems, which can ultimately lead to disability and the necessity of receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Ischemic heart disease can also be very painful, due to angina or chest pain.

Congestive Heart Failure A Disabling Disease Under Social Security

Congestive Heart Failure Disability

No matter if atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, or rheumatic or congenital heart disease causes your heart condition, you may still be eligible for or . These illnesses result in your hearts inability to pump enough oxygenated blood to the rest of your body, which causes fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness or dyspnea.

To prove to the Social Security Administration that you suffer from congestive heart failure, you must provide objective medical evidence from qualified cardiologists. Some of the evidence that will help prove your inability to engage in gainful employment includes:

  • Medical imaging like an X-ray, echocardiography, radionuclide studies or cardiac catheterization
  • Your medical history and physical examination that demonstrates symptoms related to cardiac distress or limited cardiac output
  • Your employment history, demonstrating your inability to hold down steady employment

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Objective Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure

Your medical record must show the following evidence of either systolic or diastolic heart failure.

Systolic failure. This occurs when the heart has weakened pumping strength and can be shown by one of the following:

  • the heart’s left ventricular end diastolic dimensions are larger than 6.0 cm.

Diastolic failure. This occurs when the heart is unable to fill properly, and must be shown by all of the following:

  • thickness of left ventricular wall and interventricular septum 2.5 cm or larger on imaging
  • an enlarged left atrium 4.5 cm or larger, and
  • normal or elevated ejection fraction during a period of stability .

Other Requirements For Disability Benefits

Not only will you need to medically qualify for disability benefits, you will need to meet other qualifications. For those applying for Supplemental Security Income , you will need to be within specific income limits. Those that are unmarried will need to have less than $2,000 in assets while those that are married will needed less than $3,000 in assets.

If you are applying for Social Security Disability Income , you will need to have obtained enough work credits. These are earned by working and paying into Social Security. Though the number of credits changes depending on your age, typically if you have worked five of the last ten years you will have enough work credits.

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When Your Congestive Heart Failure Meets A Listing

Congestive heart failure is included in the SSAs Listing of Impairments. If your congestive heart failure meets or equals a Listing, your Social Security disability benefits will be awarded at Step 3 of the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation.

Your medical records must establish that you meet every element of the Listing for your congestive heart failure to be considered disabling. SSA will review your medical records and look for a diagnosis of severe continuing heart failure despite being on medication with fluid retention at some point.

SSA requires objective symptoms of either systolic or diastolic heart failure.

A showing of systolic heart failure occurs when the heart has weakened pumping strength, which can be shown by one of the following:

Your hearts ejection fraction, which is the percentage of blood pumped out of the heart with each heartbeat, is 30% or less during a period of stability, or your hearts left ventricular end diastolic dimensions are larger than 6.0 cm.

A showing of diastolic failure occurs when the heart is unable to fill properly, and must be shown by all of the following:

  • Thickness of left ventricular wall and interventricular septum 2.5 cm or longer on imaging,
  • An enlarged left atrium 4.5 cm or larger, and,
  • Normal or elevated ejection fraction during a period of stability.

Once you have shown objective evidence of either systolic or diastolic dysfunction, you must have one of the following functional limitations:

Qualifying Under Blue Book Listing

Social Security Disability and Heart Failure I | How the heart functions

When youre applying for SSA disability benefits, you will have your condition compared to a listing of conditions in the Blue Book. All conditions that can lead to disability are mentioned in the Blue Book, along with the criteria for each of them.

Congestive heart failure is found under Section 4.02 of the Blue Book. To receive benefits for this medical condition, you need to prove the following:

  • Diagnosis with heart failure even while undergoing appropriately prescribed treatment
  • Medical documentation of systolic failure or ejection fraction within a specific set of numbers set by the SSA
  • Persistent symptoms of heart failure that create a situation where its challenging to complete the activities of daily living or at least three document episode of acute congestive heart failure within one year

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The Va Has Specific Rules For Which Heart And Cardiovascular Conditions Will Be Awarded Disability Compensation And How They Will Be Rated

Veterans can be awarded service-connected disability compensation for various heart conditions. The VA evaluates cardiovascular conditions using the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, diagnostic codes 7000 through 7123. To get compensation for your heart condition, you must meet the requirements of one of three methods designated by the VA in the rating schedule, and you must be able to prove a causal link between your military service and your heart condition.

Congestive Heart Failure: Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits

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When Medium Rfc Is Appropriate

If you have had one documented episode of CHF in the past due to chronic heart disease and are compensating well with treatment, you might be given a medium RFC if all factorsincluding symptoms, information about exertional capacity, coronary artery disease status, and ventricular performance dataare compatible with that level of work. This situation indicates you are doing extremely well in the treatment of your heart failure. It is inconceivable that you should receive a not severe determination if you have had chronic heart disease severe enough to have ever produced heart failure.

Applying For Ssd Benefits When You Have Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure Disability

Congestive heart failure is a very serious and complicated condition. If you are one of the millions of people in the United States with this condition, you may find it difficult for your heart to pump and/or fill blood as expected. If you are wondering if this is a condition that can make a person eligible for social security disability benefits, there is good news for you. Aside from the benefits that you may get from your doctor, you could also qualify for SSD benefits. These benefits include financial support when you are no longer in physical shape to continue working.

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Why Was My Heart Failure Disability Application Denied

Every year, around 550,000 new cases of congestive heart failure are diagnosed in the United States. CHF has the capacity to drastically affect ones health and lifestyle, leading many patients to seek disability benefits for help.

However, in many cases , disability applicants find that their initial claim attempt is denied. If this is true for you, do not worry continue below to see how you can continue your disability case moving forward. Some heart defects, such as congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and heart transplants, can automatically qualify you for disability benefits through the “Blue Book” List of Conditions.

Applying For Disability Benefits For Heart Conditions

To apply for disability, call 800-772-1213 to set up an appointment to submit an application for SSI or SSDI through your local SSA office. If you’re applying for SSDI only, you can do so online at ssa.gov. In your application, include how your heart condition is affecting your ability to exercise, work, and take care of your daily needs. Include details such as your needing to use the bathroom more than once per hour because of congestive heart failure or side effects of your heart medication, or your needing to sleep on pillows because of lung congestion.

If you have other physical problems as well, include these on your application. For instance, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure are common in people with heart failure or heart disease. In addition, it’s not uncommon for people who’ve had a heart attack to develop anxiety disorders. If you have panic attacks, you should see a psychologist or psychiatrist and include details about your anxiety on your application.

Take our disability quiz to help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.

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Residual Functional Capacity For Congestive Heart Failure

Making a Social Security Disability for Heart Failure | The hearts function

The SSA will review your medical records at the Initial Application and Reconsideration stage of the claims process and determine your functional capacity to perform sedentary, light, medium and heavy work.

SSA medical consultants often opine that a Social Security Disability applicant can do light and sedentary work, and that will result in a claims denial. The lower your RFC the more likely that you cant return to the lightest job you held in the last 15 years or perform other work. SSA doesnt tell applicants or physicians about the existence and importance of properly completed RFC forms that will explain that because of shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and heart palpitations:

  • How far you can walk,
  • How long you can stand and sit at one time and for an eight-hour day,
  • How much and how often you can lift, stoop, squat, bend during an eight- hour day,
  • Whether you have to alternate sitting and standing,
  • Whether you have good days and bad days and how many days per month you would miss from work, and
  • Whether you have psychological problems that would interfere with your ability to work.

This is not an exhaustive list of all of the questions on a congestive heart failure RFC form. But you can see that having an explanation of what you can do physically, cognitively and emotionally is key to winning your case.

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Social Security Disability And Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure can make working a job dangerous, which makes it challenging to continue full-time employment. However, not being able to keep a traditional job can cause financial issues. Rather than letting this turn into an endless cycle, Social Security disability benefits may help with the situation. Individuals suffering from congestive heart failure may qualify to add to their monthly income and help cover medical treatment through disability benefits.

Symptoms And Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure

To establish that you have chronic heart failure for the purpose of receiving Social Security disability benefits, your medical history and physical examination should describe characteristic symptoms and signs of pulmonary or systemic congestion or of limited cardiac output. And these signs and symptoms should be associated with the abnormal findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging. Factors that cause heart failure, but that can be improved or eliminated, such as heart failure induced by high altitude, arrhythmias, and dietary sodium overload, would not be expected to result in chronic failure.

Symptoms of congestion or of limited cardiac output include:

  • Easy fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath on exertion.
  • Coughing.
  • Chest discomfort at rest or with activity.
  • Shortness of breath on lying flat .
  • Sudden shortness of breath while sleeping ).
  • Cardiac arrhythmias resulting in palpitations, lightheadedness, or fainting.

Signs of congestion may include:

  • An enlarged liver .
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen .
  • Increased jugular vein distention or pressure.
  • Rales .
  • Peripheral edema .
  • Rapid weight gain.

However, these signs need not be found on all examinations because fluid retention may be controlled by treatment.

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Contact Social Security Disability Attorney Nancy L Cavey Who Can Help You Regardless Of Where You Live In Florida

Congestive heart failure can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Ms. Cavey can explain the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation process used in every claim, the claims process and how to get your disability benefits. Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.

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Applying For Disability Benefits

Congestive Heart Failure Disability

You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online or in person at your local Social Security office. You will be asked to fill out a number of forms, which you should complete with as much detail as possible, and you may be asked to attend a consultative exam. After completing the disability application process, you will receive a decision from the SSA within two to four months. If you are approved for benefits, this notice will tell you when benefits will begin, which benefits you will be receiving, and how much you will be receiving each month. If you are denied benefits, you have 60 days from the date of denial to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny benefits.

If you do need to pursue a Social Security Disability appeal, do not give up hope. A number of applicants who are denied during the initial stage of the application process go on to successfully receive benefits through the process of an appeal

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Winning Social Security Disability Benefits For Congestive Heart Failure By Meeting A Listing

To determine whether you are disabled at Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process, the Social Security Administration will consider whether your congestive heart failure is severe enough to meet or equal the chronic heart failure listing. The Social Security Administration has developed rules called Listing of Impairments for most common impairments. The listing for a particular impairment describes a degree of severity that the Social Security Administration presumes would prevent a person from performing substantial work. If your chronic heart failure is severe enough to meet or equal the listing, you will be considered disabled.

The listing for chronic heart failure is listing 4.02, which has two parts, A and B. To meet the listing you must satisfy both part A and part B despite receiving prescribed treatment.

Part A is mainly concerned with diagnosis, while Part B deals with clinical and functional severity. A legitimate diagnosis of heart failure from any cause must be established before consideration of part A or part B of the listing. The critical question to determine listing-level severity is whether some degree of chronic heart failure remains after treatment for an acute episode of failure.

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