Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a life-threatening medical condition that can leave an individual unable to work. It is an illness where the heart is not able to pump sufficient blood throughout the body. This causes blood to accumulate in the arteries leading to the heart and fluids to pool in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, legs, and liver. If you suffer from CHF and have had to stop working because of it, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
When Is Congestive Heart Failure Considered a Disability Making You Eligible for Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has detailed criteria in its Blue Book listing that must be met in order for CHF to be considered a disability. A person must have one of these types of CHF:
- Systolic failure. This is a type of CHF where the heart has weakened pumping strength. To qualify for SSDI, the percentage of blood pumped out of the heart with each heartbeat, which is referred to as the heart’s ejection fracture, must be 30 percent or less or the heart’s left ventricular end-diastolic dimensions must be larger than 6.0 cm.
- Diastolic failure. Diastolic failure occurs when the heart cannot fill properly. To meet the SSDI’s definition of disability, the thickness of the left ventricular and interventricular septum has to be 2.5 cm or larger, the left atrium must be enlarged at 4.5 cm or larger, and there must be a normal or elevated ejection fraction during a period of stability.
In addition, a person must show that he has one of these symptoms:
- Inability to perform an exercise tolerance test at a workload equivalent to 5 EMTs or less
- Continuing symptoms of heart failure that limit activities of daily life
- Three or more episodes of CHF in the last 12 months that required treatment in an emergency room or hospital for at least 12 hours
If an applicant’s medical condition does not meet these requirements, he may still be eligible for SSDI benefits if he can show that his congestive heart failure is so disabling that it prevents him from performing the duties of any job.
Are you applying for SSDI because you suffer from CHF? It can be complicated to prove that you qualify for benefits. Let our skilled Social Security disability lawyers in Roswell help you fill out your application properly and provide the SSA with the supporting evidence you need to win your case. Call our office or start a live chat to schedule your free consultation.