Heart failure causes several symptoms that make it nearly impossible to hold down a full-time job, especially one that requires a considerable amount of energy and stamina. If you suffer from heart failure and the symptoms have deteriorated to the point that you cannot work, you should file a Social Security Disability (SSD) claim to recover the costs associated with lost wages and medical care.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies more SSD claims than it approves. This means you might get the stamp of denial on your heart failure disability application. If that happened to you, continue fighting for your right to just compensation by filing an appeal. The SSA has established four stages of the appeals process: Reconsideration, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing, a review by the Appeals Council, and a case evaluation by a Federal District Court judge.
Reconsideration: Second Chance with the SSA
The first step in the SSD appeals process is actually the second chance you get to make your case to the SSA. Reconsideration involves the SSA taking the same application you initially filed and giving it another look. However, you have the opportunity to strengthen your claim the second time around with the SSA by including more evidence. Asking your physician to sign a sworn statement that describes how heart failure has prevented you from working is a good start.
Since the SSA denies a majority of reconsiderations, you should prepare yourself for the possibility that you will have to move to step two of the appeals process.
Present Your Claim to an Administrative Law Judge
After a denied reconsideration, your lawyer should recommend presenting your claim to an ALJ. This step of the appeals process allows you to testify about living with heart failure. The ALJ can ask you questions and you have time given to you for making a stronger case than you did with the SSA. You also can call witnesses to testify on your behalf, with a focus on calling medical experts that can confirm the presence of acute heart failure symptoms.
Review by the Appeals Council
As opposed to an ALJ hearing, the third step of the appeal process is conducted outside of a courtroom. All communication is done through written correspondence online. This means you cannot argue your case in front of a judge. The members of the Appeals Council meet to determine whether the SSA issued a correct ruling in regard to your disability claim. As a branch of the SSA, the Appeals Council tends to rely on the ruling made by the SSA.
Final Stop: Federal District Court
You have reached the end of the appeals process when you take your claim to a Federal District Court. A judge reviews the decision made by the ALJ, with the focus on ensuring the ALJ followed proper legal protocols. Decisions made at the Federal District Court level require the filing of a brief that should be filed by a Social Security lawyer. If the judge presiding over the case denies your claim, you have to file a new SSD application to receive financial benefits.
Receive a Free Case Evaluation
Most Social Security attorneys schedule free case evaluations with clients to determine the best course of legal action. Act with a sense of urgency by contacting a state-licensed Social Security today. You pay nothing upfront, as your lawyer earns money by getting your SSD application approved.