Can I Work With Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is an arrythmia, or an irregular heartbeat that can cause heart-related complications, blood clots, stroke, or heart failure. There are about 2.7 million people in the U.S. living with atrial fibrillation. While some people can continue working and live relatively normal lives thanks to medication and/or surgery for the condition, there are others who face challenges because of the heart condition and find themselves unable to work.

The cost of treating atrial fibrillation adds up, and those who suffer from the condition can expect to pay out as much as $10,000 more per year for their medical care. When an irregular heartbeat isn’t controlled, it can cause fainting which makes it impossible to work and earn a living. You should maintain thorough records to support your claim. Tests that confirm the diagnosis, confirm the severity of the symptoms, and confirm your treatment plan and then detail your restrictions and limitations.

Atrial Fibrillation And Your Ability To Perform Physical Work

Atrial fibrillation can be very uncomfortable and major problems. If your arrhythmia cannot be properly controlled, you suffer from syncope, and you show that you suffer from the symptoms of atrial fibrillation despite following your treatment regimen, you may meet the criteria Section 4.05 Cardiovascular Under Arrythmias. You will need to provide detailed documentation to support your claim.

You must undergo clinical tests at least three times during a 12-month timeframe that shows multiple episodes of fainting or indicates periods of altered consciousness, which is either cardiac syncope or near syncope although you are partaking of prescribed treatment. You will also need to provide medical records that indicate there is a connection between atrial fibrillation and your episodic fainting.

Atrial Fibrillation And Your Ability To Perform Sedentary Work

Sedentary work is the least strenuous work. Disability Determination Services will need to determine that you are unable to perform sedentary work duties and confirm that you are completely disabled before you can be approved for disability benefits. If your heart rate fluctuates, you may suffer from confusion, faint, and be fatigued, which can keep you from performing even sedentary tasks.

You must be able to provide medical records that show your diagnosis, your treatment, your symptoms and side effects, and all your limitations. Documentation, specifically hard medical evidence, is essential for your disability claim to be successful. Be sure to provide a detailed list of all your medical providers so Disability Determination Services can review all of them and determine if you are disabled.

Can I Work With Atrial Fibrillation?

Applying for Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work because of atrial fibrillation, you should get your claim for disability benefits underway. You can start the application process online at or by calling 1-800-772-1213 and talking with a representative or by scheduling an appointment at your nearest SSA field office. An SSA employee can help you determine if you qualify for disability benefits. The claims process can be challenging, so you can be represented by a disability advocate or an attorney throughout the process.

Additional Resources