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Social Security Approval Requirements for Cardiac Disabilities

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For the past 9 months you’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to do your job. You were diagnosed with supraventricular cardiac arrhythmias last year, which cause your heart to suddenly race out of nowhere. One minute you’re perfectly fine, the next it feels like your heart is beating out of your chest. You get really dizzy, your vision blurs, and you have to sit down. Your boss, although concerned about your health, has told you that if you can’t do the job he’s going to have to replace you.

What can you do? You try to keep it under control. You take your medication, but when you overexert yourself, you can’t help it. It’s to the point where even simple tasks have you out of breath—and the episodes are getting closer and more intense. If you get fired, can you apply for disability? Will it be denied? How will you survive without an income?   

Determining Your Qualifications for Cardiac Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an entire checklist of requirements that determine if a claimant’s injuries warrant disability benefits. Within that checklist, an entire section is devoted to cardiac disorders. Since the SSA obviously can’t approve every application that comes in, it has a special panel of associates that investigates each claim and decides the severity of each claimant’s injury.

Based on the severity, symptoms, medical findings, and functional limitations of the injury or ailment, the panel will decide whether or not the individual is physically capable of working. This is where the checklist comes into play. When the panel of investigators reviews your claim, it compares the evidence and documentation that you have included about your illness with the list of acceptable requirements. If your injury matches the qualifications, than you will most likely be approved. If you fail to meet the requirements, you will most likely be denied.

Requirements include that your injury:

  • Makes it physically difficult or impossible to complete simple movements, such as raising your arms without suffering pain, disorientation, or physical side effects.
  • Prohibits you from continuous or long-term physical activity.
  • Is well documented by a medical professional.
  • Has or will last more than 12 months.
  • Is documented as being recurrent, or that episodes and symptoms have occurred more than three separate times within a 12-month period.
  • Has been properly evaluated and diagnosed through medical imaging such as x-rays, cardiograms, and MRIs.
  • Can’t be controlled with proper medication or treatment

Putting Your Heart in the Right Place

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 700,000 Americans a year suffer from heart attacks. Approximately 30 percent of these attacks are repeat offenses and could be prevented if proper precautions are made after the initial attack. Furthermore, a majority of the remaining 70 percent could also be avoided as long as the potential victims are aware of their conditions and receive proper care before an attack is brought on.

This is why it is extremely important to routinely visit your doctor if you experience recurring shortness of breath, chest pains, and dizziness—especially if you have had signs of cardiac issues before. If you are diagnosed with a heart condition, make sure you follow your doctor’s orders, even if this includes taking a hiatus from work and applying for disability.

Contact us today to review your disability options, and to make sure you qualify before filling out your application. We know that you don’t have time to lose, so let us help make sure your application is perfect in order to prevent costly delays and rejections. Call now!


Category: I Need to Apply

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law

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