Does Heart Failure Automatically Qualify for Disability Benefits?

If you are living with heart failure, you fully understand the adverse symptoms that impact your life daily. So, do you automatically qualify for heart failure disability benefits? The answer is no, you do not automatically qualify for disability benefits. However, if you live with an advanced stage of congestive heart failure, the Social Security Administration (SSA) might fast-track your claim for financial assistance if you submit enough persuasive medical evidence that demonstrates how this condition makes it difficult, if not impossible, for you to make a living. The SSA operates something called the Compassionate Allowance program, which allows some heart failure disability benefits applicants to bypass the lengthy claim process.

Heart Failure and Social Security Disability

How to Automatically Qualify for Disability Benefits

There are two significant challenges faced by applicants for heart failure disability. The first challenge is that the claim process takes several months to unfold. Coupled with this, if the SSA is backlogged with applicants, the process could take more than one year to culminate. This means that you might not receive financial assistance from the SSA until you fall considerably behind on paying off medical bills. The second challenge revolves around the fact that the SSA denies a majority of disability claims that, on paper, appear like they should be easily approved/approvable. If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, and you are living with the early stages of this condition, you might not meet the severity of standards test applied by the SSA when they consider a claim for heart failure disability benefits.

That being said, you may be eligible for financial assistance if you meet the medical standards established by the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program. Despite the fact that you would file a claim for heart failure disability benefits the same way as other applicants, the Compassionate Allowance program could move your claim to the front of the line for consideration by a team of medical examiners from the SSA. All you have to do on your application is emphasize that the symptoms of your heart failure have become severe enough to make your claim a priority for review by the SSA.

Does Heart Failure Disease Automatically Qualify for Disability Benefits?

The Compassionate Allowance program, managed by the SSA, consists of a list of dozens of medical conditions that qualify for fast-track approval. In order to receive Compassionate Allowance benefits, your medical condition must be listed in the program’s comprehensive list of conditions, and it also must follow the severity of symptoms standard listed in the SSA’s medical guide called the “Blue Book.” Congestive heart failure is listed under Section 4.02 of the Blue Book. Some of the more serious symptoms of heart failure include chronic fatigue, as well as painfully swollen legs and abdomen.

If the SSA does not approve your request for fast-track consideration of your claim for heart failure disability benefits, the federal agency might ask you to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. Under the guidance of a medical examiner from the SSA, an RFC assessment requires you to undergo a wide variety of tests to measure your ability to continue working at your current job. For heart failure, the medical tests can include endurance exercises to measure your stamina, as well as basic exercises to test the strength of your legs and ankles.

It is important to note that the primary goal of the SSA is to get disability applicants back to work, which, for a heart failure patient, can mean transitioning from a physically demanding job to a career that involves sitting down throughout most of each working day.

Get Help with Your Claim

Given that the odds are stacked against you in your desire and attempt(s) to receive heart failure disability benefits, you should consider working with a Social Security disability attorney. By doing so, your attorney can help you make sure that you are submitting the most compelling claim you possibly can for financial assistance. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.

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