Heart conditions including heart failure, coronary heart diseases, and heart attacks, are some of the deadliest conditions plaguing Americans. Whether its from poor diets, lack of exercise, or lack of medical care, severe heart conditions often are a result of an individuals failure to care for their bodies. Often, however, individuals do take care of themselves and simply inherit these conditions.
So what do you do if you have a severe heart condition and you do not feel like you can work? Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I was diagnosed with heart failure, but the Social Security Administration claims I still have the capacity to work. What are my options? I do not feel like I can continue to work full-time.
Symptoms of Severe Heart Conditions
Those who suffer from severe heart conditions may experience sharp pains or discomfort in their chest, pain in their neck, jaw, or throat and maybe even heart attacks. Heart failure can also lead to shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling in the feet, legs, and abdomen.
Depending on the severity of the heart condition, it is likely many claimants will lose their ability to work. Proving you cannot work, however, may be another matter.
Winning SSDI for Severe Heart Conditions
Given the complexity of the SSDI system, its not unusual for very sick and disabled claimants to be denied SSDI the first time they apply for benefits, even for a severe heart condition.
So what do you do if you have been diagnosed with a severe heart condition and you do not believe you can work for at least 12 continuous months, but the SSA has decided you can retrain for new work or continue to work your current job? The first step is to make sure you understand what you need to prove to win your SSDI case.
Medical evidence and the disability decision
All disability decisions are made after reviewing a claimants medical records. Specifically, the SSA will review your medical information and determine whether they believe you have the physical capacity to perform work.
If you have not been to the doctor, you do not have a diagnosis or prognosis, and you do not know the limitations of your condition, they may request that you visit a consultative examiner. The consultative examiner will perform a cursory consultative examination and make a recommendation to the SSA.
Regardless of whether you have evidence from your own doctor or a consultative examiner, however, your goal is to prove your heart condition is so severe it meets a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments. All coronary conditions and their corresponding symptoms that the SSA considers disabling can be found under Listing 4.00 Cardiovascular System.
Talk to your treating doctor and find out if your conditions and symptoms meet a listing. If yes, assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI, winning a claim for a severe heart condition could be as simple as appealing the denial, gathering more medical evidence to prove the severity of your condition, and submitting the new information to the SSA with your reconsideration.
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