If you applied for disability benefits after being diagnosed with heart failure and your claim was denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Disability benefit claims are typically denied the first time around due to a lack of supporting evidence. In fact, over 60% of claims are denied initially so you are more likely to be approved upon appeal. These three tips will help to ensure that your appeal is as strong as possible.
Tip #1 - Review, Review, Review...Then Add
The first step you need to take is to review your initial claim to make sure it has everything you need. Claims must provide as much medical evidence as possible and you need to make sure your claim is thorough because you won’t have an opportunity to speak with the SSA directly about your case. Your application for benefits represents you, so it needs to be complete.
Review your claim to ensure that all of your medical information is included.
Tip #2 - Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
One of the most powerful pieces of medical evidence you can have in your appeal is the residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC is completed by your doctor and it’s a determination of the maximum amount of work you are capable of performing given your condition.
The RFC can also take into consideration any side effects from treatment or other health issues that came about from your heart failure diagnosis that might be impacting your ability to work. Since you cannot meet with the SSA in person, the RFC is the best way for you to explain your situation in detail.
Tip #3 - Obtain Further Testing
If, after reviewing your claim and completing an RFC (if applicable), you determine that information is missing or incomplete then you should obtain more testing. Also consider that it can take between three and five months to receive the initial decision from the SSA.
You may have developed new symptoms since filing your initial application or your symptoms may have worsened, so talk to your doctor about ordering new or additional tests to make your case stronger.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
Filing an appeal with the SSA can be intimidating and stressful, and filing an appeal with heart failure is a stressor you don’t need. Thankfully, a disability attorney can help guide you through the process and not only make it easier for you, but disability attorneys know exactly how to make an appeal stronger so as to increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
An experienced disability attorney will be able to ensure that you have all of the evidence you need while making sure that you meet all of the deadlines in your appeal. Though working with a disability attorney does not guarantee that you will win your appeal, it can help immensely.
There is very little risk involved because disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they do not require payment in advance and you are only required to pay if you win your appeal.
To learn more about how a disability attorney can help you, fill out a free case evaluation form.