If you have a heart condition that makes it impossible to maintain gainful employment, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). These monthly payments can protect your financial stability and provide much-needed monetary resources for food, shelter, and other living expenses. However, securing a favorable SSD decision can be challenging, and most applicants must fight for benefits with an appeal.
An Akron heart disease lawyer with Berger and Green can help you file an initial application or appeal a denied claim. We have over four decades of SSD experience we can use to prove your right to benefits. We offer free consultations and take cases on a contingency fee basis, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by working with our firm.
Understanding Social Security Disability Qualifications for Heart Diseases
If you have heart disease and cannot work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can seek SSDI if you have enough earned work credits garnered through Social Security employment contributions. You usually need 20 credits (or five years of work) to become eligible, though younger workers may need fewer.
SSI is available to individuals with disabilities who have little resources or income. You do not need work credits to qualify, but you must meet the financial requirements. You can qualify for SSDI and SSI concurrently, but each has its own application. Our SSD lawyers can ensure you file the correct paperwork.
When reviewing your benefits claims, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will also look at the following:
Do You Have an Eligible Heart Condition?
- Chronic heart failure
- Ischemic heart disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Recurrent arrhythmias
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Heart transplant
If your heart disease stems from one of the above ailments, it will likely be easier to prove you meet the medical qualifications for SSD. If the Blue Book does not list your heart condition, you can still apply for benefits, but you must supply evidence establishing that your heart disease is of equal severity.
Our Akron heart disease lawyers can include medical diagnosis and health care provider information along with your initial application. We can also make sure the SSA has the information it needs about your medical providers. If you receive an unfavorable determination, we can appeal your denial and represent you at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Does Heart Disease Prevent You from Working?
Eligibility for benefits also depends on whether heart disease prevents you from earning income. The SSA does not consider individuals disabled unless an injury or illness keeps them from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA) for at least 12 months. According to the SSA, the SGA rate for 2023 is an average of $1,470 per month. Therefore, you will not receive SSD if you can earn at or above this amount.
If the SSA denied your application because it believes you can earn SGA and you disagree, we can appeal. We can also collect and provide evidence regarding your earnings and work capabilities during the appeals process.
For a free legal consultation with a Heart Disease lawyer serving Akron, call 412-661-1400
How Much Are Social Security Disability Payments?
Monthly disability benefits vary from applicant to applicant. SSDI payments depend on your earned work credits and can range from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand. You can get an idea of what you may receive using the SSA’s Benefits Calculator.
The SSA sets an annual rate for SSI benefits using economic indicators like the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). In 2023, the rate is $914 monthly. Ohio administers a supplement. We can help you apply for benefits!
When Should You Apply?
You should apply for SSD as soon as your heart disease interferes with your ability to work. Applying immediately puts your application in a position for review as soon as you become eligible. It also helps prove your alleged onset date (AOD) when determining back pay.
Akron Heart Disease Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Reasons the SSA Denied Your Heart Disease Disability Claim
According to the Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, the majority (67 percent) of initial SSD applications receive an unfavorable determination. If your benefits were denied, it could be because of one of the following reasons:
- Lack of medical evidence
- Insufficient financial information
- Earnings above SGA
- Clerical or application errors
- Inaccurate contact information
- Failure to cooperate with SSA requests
- Previously denied applications (you cannot reapply, you must appeal)
Our Akron heart disease lawyers can review your application to understand why it was not approved. We can then appeal the denial if it is within the strict timelines set forth by the Social Security Administration and help you navigate the process.
How Long do You Have to Appeal?
You have 60 days from receiving a denial to ask for a reconsideration of your initial application. During this first stage of appeal, the SSA will take a second look at your claim and decide based on new medical or non-medical evidence. However, it is rare for claims to get resolved this way. Most of them move on to the next stage, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing.
If you disagree with the reconsideration, you have 60 days to ask an ALJ to conduct a hearing regarding your claim. Our attorneys can represent you during this preceding, which can happen in person, over the phone, or by video conference. If the ALJ does not rule in your favor, you have 60 days to ask for a review of the decision by the Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council can approve your claim, return it to another ALJ, or deny it. If you receive a denial, we have 60 days to pursue your claim to the final stage: civil action in Federal Court.
Contact Berger and Green About Your Akron Heart Disease SSD Benefits Claim Today
If you cannot work because of heart disease, we can help you secure the benefits you need and deserve. You do not have to accept a denial of your claim. Contact Berger and Green for a free consultation and learn more about how our Ohio SSD attorneys can file your initial application or handle your appeal for nothing upfront or out of pocket.