The Social Security Application Process For Those With Atrial Fibrillation

If you have atrial fibrillation that affects you so severely that you are unable to work and earn a living, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of heart arrythmia.

The two upper chambers of the heart – the atria – contract irregularly causing blood to pool there instead of pumping into the lower chambers, which are called ventricles. Between 3 and 6 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation. If you have a severe arrythmia it can affect your ability to perform routine tasks as well as work.

Medically Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Atrial Fibrillation

The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine if a claimant qualifies for disability benefits. Atrial fibrillation claims are reviewed using Section 4.05, which is cardiovascular under recurrent arrhythmias. You will need to provide supporting documentation that proves your atrial fibrillation meets the following criteria –

  • You experience fainting (syncope)
  • Your arrhythmia is uncontrolled AND
  • You can show that you still experience symptoms from AF despite undergoing treatment

If you are qualifying for disability benefits because of uncontrolled AF, you must be able to show in clinical tests that at least three times in a 12-month period you suffered multiple fainting episodes or periods of altered consciousness despite adhering to standard treatment. You must also provide medical records that show there is a connection between your AF and your fainting episodes.

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) you must have worked enough to earn sufficient credits to be covered by SSDI. Usually, this means having worked the equivalent of five years full-time out of the last 10 years. If you are denied disability benefits for AF, you will want to file an appeal, which is also known as a request for reconsideration.

The Social Security Application Process For Those With Atrial Fibrillation

Request For Reconsideration With Atrial Fibrillation

If you have AF and your claim was denied, you will want to file a request for reconsideration. Your denial letter will detail why your claim was denied, so you can gather supporting evidence that provides the details that disability examiner needs to approve your claim. The letter will also give you a deadline to file an appeal, so make sure you file your request for reconsideration before that date, or you will have to file a new claim.

A residual functional capacity (RFC) form could be beneficial to your claim. It will detail what you can and cannot do, so the disability examiner can determine that you are disabled. If the claim is denied on the reconsideration level, you will want to file an appeal and ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Your chances of claim approval are higher on that level.

If the claim is still denied at the hearing level, you can file another appeal and have your claim reviewed by an appeals council. You can keep appealing until the claim is reviewed by federal district court.

Help With The Disability Application Process For Atrial Fibrillation

If you are unable to work because of AF, a disability attorney can help you throughout the claims process. Your likelihood of having your claim approved can increase greatly when you have a lawyer representing you. Get your free case evaluation today.

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