Congestive heart failure can be a sudden, crippling disorder. Not only does it have the potential to drastically affect a person’s lifestyle, but the financial costs of treatment can also be staggering.
If your heart failure continues to cause you physical and financial strain, then disability benefits may be an option for you. Before heading to apply on the Social Security website, continue below to learn the top three ways to improve your chances for getting benefits for your heart failure.
Tip #1: Consult with your physician to learn the specific nature of your diagnosis.
There are a variety of ways that the heart can stop working. Various symptoms arise depending on the type and severity of heart failure, allowing applicants to qualify for benefits in a number of different ways. The majority of heart failure applicants qualify under the standard “chronic heart failure” guidelines listed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, heart failure caused by congenital heart disease or failure of the peripheral arteries can qualify with different listings instead. To determine which guidelines best apply to you, ask your physician about the details of your diagnosis.
Tip #2: Receive updated chest x-rays, echocardiograms, stress tests, MRIs, heart scans, and/or blood tests.
When the SSA reviews an application, they want to be certain the applicant’s tests reflect their current state as much as possible. To give yourself the best chance at receiving benefits, try to reorder any tests that haven’t been performed in a while to assess the current severity of your symptoms. A variety of chest and heart scans can reveal any current damage that has been caused due to your heart failure. Simple exams like blood tests or urinalysis can also reveal if your heart failure is having a negative impact on other organs or body systems.
Stress tests, motor function tests, and residual functional capacity tests (RFCs) are also ways to help measure your ability to perform daily tasks while coping with the symptoms of your heart failure. In general, the more information you provide on your application, the more likely you are to receive benefits.
Tip #3: Send updated information to the SSA even after you’ve officially submitted your application.
Most disability benefits applicants must wait a period of multiple months before receiving an official decision on their case. During this time, it is vital to continuously update the SSA whenever your condition, work status, or living situation changes. This allows reviewers to see your effort and helps them to compare your current situation with past information. The more effort you put into keeping the SSA in-the-know, the more likely you are to receive benefits.
Contacting a Social Security Attorney
For many applicants, the disability benefits process can be confusing, lengthy, or difficult to complete properly. With the help of a disability attorney, paperwork and organization becomes the worry of someone with years of experience in benefits cases. Especially if your claim is initially denied, an attorney’s assistance with the appeal process can make all the difference in getting you the benefits you deserve.
Before starting your application, consider a free consultation with a disability attorney today.