Compassionate Allowance - Heart Transplant

It would be a monumental understatement to say that the human heart is an amazing organ. Constructed almost entirely of muscle, the heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout the body. After delivering the oxygen, the blood returns to the heart, where it is pumped to the lungs to be re-oxygenated. It then returns to the heart, where the process continues. Keep in mind that this is all happening simultaneously, and is all accomplished through a series of finely-timed contractions working in concert with each other.

The average heart beats 72 times per minute. Over the course of a day, that equals more than 100,000 beats. Over a 70 year lifespan, that totals over 2.5 billion heartbeats, moving an estimated 40 billion gallons of blood.

Because of the complex function of the heart, there really isn’t a lot of room for error. Sometimes portions of the heart can become damaged or diseased and fail to work properly. This can happen because of genetics, which results in heart disease which just happens because it’s in the family. Sometimes heart disease is a result of poor choices like diet, alcohol and/or drug use, smoking, or lack of exercise. Sometimes infections can damage the heart structure, and so can accidents or other injuries. Sometimes, the heart just doesn’t form completely in a child before birth.

When the heart doesn’t function properly, the patient can tire very easily, may have trouble getting around, and may eventually be unable to work. Social Security Disability Income benefits are available to those whose health is compromised to the degree that they are unable to earn a living.
Until recently, the process of obtaining disability benefits was long and complicated; unfortunately it often still is. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has seen fit to create a category for illnesses that automatically necessitate disability status. These conditions, known as Compassionate Allowances, lead to an abbreviated application process for disability benefits.

Heart Transplant Wait List (1A/1B) - Condition and Symptoms

In spite of the remarkable advances which have been made in the area of medical technology, and in spite of the miraculous resiliency of the human body, there comes a point where the structure of the heart is simply beyond repair. In cases like this, the only viable option to prolong the patient’s life is to transplant another heart into their body. These replacement parts come from donors who have died, but whose heart is still healthy. As you might imagine, the need for these hearts is far greater than the supply.

Because of the disparity between the demand for healthy hearts and the limited availability, each facility which performs heart transplants has a waiting list. Factors included in determining a person’s position on the wait list include age, severity of disease, and a number of other factors. Those patients whose needs are most dire are given a Status 1 designation. Status 1 patients are further subdivided into 2 categories, as follows:

  • 1A - These patients are confined to the hospital, and require intravenous medications, a mechanical heart assist device, or have a life expectancy of a week or less without a transplant. Patients under the age of 18 may reach 1A status with fewer complications. These are the most critically ill patients and get first priority.
  • 1B - These patients may be at home, but still require an assistive device and/or continuous IV meds. These patients get 2nd priority.
    All patients who receive a heart transplant will have to be on immunosuppressant medications for the remainder of their lives in order to prevent their bodies from mistaking the donor heart as a foreign object which must be removed.

Filing for Social Security Disability with a Heart Transplant Wait List 1A/1B diagnosis

If you are on a Heart Transplant Wait List and have been given 1A or 1B status, you will automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, because waitlisted patients of 1A or 1B status have been recognized by the SSA as meeting the guidelines for Compassionate Allowance status. If your documents are accurately assembled and the application filled out correctly, you may be receiving benefits in as little as 3 weeks.

In spite of the fact that your waitlist status qualifies you for a Compassionate Allowance, it would greatly benefit you to have your case reviewed by a Social Security Disability attorney. A disability attorney will help you to avoid potential delays to your case by making sure that all of the supporting documents are in order and are filled out correctly.

Your Heart Transplant Wait List - 1A/1B Social Security Disability Case

If you are on a Heart Transplant Wait List 1A/1B status, you can rest assured that you will surely qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Still, it would be a very good idea to have your case evaluated by a Social Security Disability lawyer. Disability attorneys work on a contingency basis and are not awarded benefits unless you are awarded benefits