How Severe Does My Atrial Fibrillation Have to Be to Get SSD?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) may pay you a disability benefit for your atrial fibrillation (AFib) if your symptoms are severe enough to meet the criteria that the SSA has established for this condition. You also need to demonstrate that the severity of the condition has meant that you cannot work for at least the next 12 months.

Your Atrial Fibrillation Must Be Severe Enough to Meet the Blue Book Criteria

Atrial fibrillation is a medical condition in which the two atria (the heart’s upper chambers) do not contract as regularly as they should. This means that the blood from these chambers does not get pumped correctly into the two lower chambers, the ventricles, and therefore on to the rest of the body. AFib symptoms include the following:

  • chest pain
  • extreme fatigue
  • lightheadedness
  • shortness of breath

These symptoms, when severe, make it difficult to do many everyday tasks and they also have an impact on the sufferer’s ability to keep working. The SSA will assess the medical documentation submitted with an application for a disability benefit against its own Blue Book listing. AFib is listed under section 4.05 Cardiovascular under Regular Arrhythmias.

The SSA may consider symptoms are severe enough to meet the listing criteria if the following are found:

  • fainting is experienced frequently
  • AFib symptoms have not been resolved despite treatment
  • the arrhythmia are uncontrolled

Applying for a Disability Benefit with Atrial Fibrillation

It is important to be well prepared when applying for a disability benefit. This means ensuring that all questions on the application are filled in and medical documentation is complete. Up to two-thirds of disability benefit applications are denied initially, although when an appeal is made, it is possible for these decisions to be reversed. Most disqualified applications result from insufficient documentation or demonstration that a job cannot be sustained. An attorney can help you with preparing your disability benefit application.

How Atrial Fibrillation May Affect You and Your Family

Severe atrial fibrillation can have an enormous negative effect on you, the sufferer, and your family. The physical and mental effects of the symptoms can lead to deterioration in emotional and mental health and prevent you from carrying out the things that you used to do which gave you satisfaction and pleasure. Financial strain is experienced and this is also stressful for you and your family as it will be hard to be sure whether basic daily expenses can continue to be afforded, especially if work has to stop because of the condition.

A disability benefit can help provide financial certainty and relieve some of the stress from the condition. A disability attorney can help you with your benefits application and an appeal if your application is initially denied.

Next Steps

Atrial fibrillation has a significant effect on the ability to carry out daily tasks and continue gainful employment. The SSA will consider granting a disability benefit if symptoms of your AFib are severe enough. You do need to be able to show the SSA sufficient medical and other documentation which demonstrates that your symptoms meet the criteria for a benefit.

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