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Congestive Heart Failure: Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

by Jamie Nichols

The purpose of social security disability is to provide additional income for an individual who has a medical condition or disability that prevents him or her from working enough hours to obtain enough income to survive. If you or your spouse has congestive heart failure, you might be wondering whether or not social security disability benefits are an option.

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Your heart hasn't quit working, but it is weaker because the blood is moving to your heart at a much slower rate. Your heart can't pump enough nutrients and oxygen to keep your body functioning normally. Congestive heart failure can be caused by coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle), heart attack, or other conditions that may cause the heart to become overworked.

Some of these symptoms could indicate you either have or could experience congestive heart failure include fatigue, shortness of breath, edema/swelling, lack of energy for exercise, and others.

By the 'Blue Book'

The Social Security Blue Book for October 2008 stated in Section 4.02 that congestive heart failure does qualify you to receive benefits. Specific symptoms must be shown on your medical records such as specified diastolic failure or systolic failure. Fluid retention must also be indicated in your records. Attempts to control your condition with medication must be recorded stating it failed to stop your condition.

You must also have a minimum of at least one of the following:

  • Three or more episodes requiring hospitalization within a twelve-month period
  • Unable to perform the exercise tolerance test
  • The failure must limit you from performing daily activities

Did You Meet the Blue Book?

You might not meet the criteria from the Blue Book Listing, but that doesn't mean you can't qualify for benefits. You could receive an independent evaluation given by a medical consultant to decide if you meet the symptoms required to receive your compensation.

 A 'residual functional capacity' (RFC) rating will be established to discover what limitations you have at the current time. Your work experience, age, education, and job skills will be diagnosed for the possibility of gainful employment. It is important to have all available healthcare information available.

Do You Have Meaningful Employment?

During the diagnosis of your disability benefits criteria, both non-exertional and exertional limitations will be tested. Exertional limitations include your ability to walk, sit, stand, pull, lift, carry or push. Mental health issues are considered non-exertional limitations. To qualify you cannot be capable of performing meaningful work, even sedentary work.

To improve your chances of receiving your Social Security Disability benefits, it is advisable to hire an attorney that is qualified specifically for that cause. The professionals know about all of the most recent situations that could provide you with your benefits for a brighter future. Contact a business, such as Todd East Attorney at Law for more information.