Do you have a heart condition that prevents you from working? If so, you likely have concerns about your financial future. You can pursue Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits that provide you and your loved ones with much-needed resources. However, securing monthly payments is often challenging.
A Social Security Disability lawyer in Altoona with Berger and Green can help you file an initial application for heart disease disability benefits or appeal a denied SSD claim. Our Altoona heart disease disability attorneys will put more than 40 years of experience behind getting the money you need, allowing you to focus on your health.
Does Heart Disease Qualify You for SSD Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a financial safety net for individuals with health conditions that disable them. Thus, if your heart problem prevents you from earning a living, our heart disease disability lawyers serving Altoona, PA, could help you seek benefits from the following programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is available to workers who have earned work credits throughout their employment history. Usually, you must have 20 credits (five years of work) to become eligible. However, depending on your age, you may need more or fewer credits to qualify.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is for disabled individuals with limited income and resources. You do not need work credits to receive benefits but must show that you meet the program’s income requirement.
While SSDI and SSI are distinct programs with separate applications, the medical requirements are identical. When determining your eligibility for benefits, the SSA will consider these two questions.
Is Your Condition in the Blue Book?
To receive SSD benefits, you must have a medical condition severe enough to disable you. The SSA maintains a list (called the Blue Book) of qualifying medical impairments and the criteria used to evaluate them. Heart disease is a broad term that encompasses several heart problems. Heart conditions in the Blue Book include:
- Congenital and acquired circulatory system disorders
- Chronic heart failure
- Ventricular dysfunction
- Ischemic heart disease
- Heart transplant
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Recurrent arrhythmias
You might be able to pursue benefits if you have a heart disease not in the Blue Book. However, you will need to supply medical records and other evidence proving your condition is as severe as those listed.
Can You Work?
Your health issue must prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA) to qualify as disabling. The SGA limit changes annually—for 2024, it is $1,550 per month ($2,590 for blind individuals). If you can earn at least this much on average monthly, the SSA will not approve you for benefits.
For a free legal consultation with a Heart Disease Disability lawyer serving Altoona, call 412-661-1400
How Much Are Monthly SSD Payments for Heart Disease?
Every SSI recipient receives the same amount in monthly benefits. The 2024 rate is $943 for an individual or $1,415 per couple. Additionally, Pennsylvania offers state supplemental SSI payments.
Monthly SSDI benefits range based on several factors, including age and work credits. According to the Social Security Administration, the average payment for disabled workers in 2023 is $1,483.
Berger and Green’s disability attorneys can help you file your application for these federal benefits. In addition, should the SSA deny your initial application, we will help you appeal for the monthly payments you need.
Altoona Heart Disease Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
When Should You File Your Social Security Disability Claim?
You should apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as your heart disease prevents you from working. While you must show that your medical condition will prevent you from working for at least 12 months, that does not mean you should wait a year to file for benefits.
Some SSD recipients qualify for back pay or retroactive benefits. Our Altoona heart disease disability attorneys can tell you more during a free consultation.
When Should You Appeal a Denial?
If the SSA denied your initial heart disease disability claim, you have 60 days to begin your appeal by requesting reconsideration. During reconsideration, a Disability Determination Services (DDS) representative will review your application and either approve your benefits or affirm the original decision.
In Pennsylvania, you must wait until you receive a decision on your reconsideration request before moving your appeal forward. Unfortunately, applicants rarely succeed at the reconsideration stage, and most must progress to the hearing stage.
You have 60 days between each step to advance your appeal. Following reconsideration, the appeal stages are:
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing
- Appeals Council review
- Federal court case
Our Altoona, PA, SSD Attorneys Assist With Heart Disease Claims and Appeals
According to the Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, the SSA denied almost eight in 10 initial SSD applications from 2010-2019. With those odds, you might benefit from working with our Social Security Disability attorneys from the outset. We can take the burden of your claim and appeal off your shoulders so you can turn your time and energy toward your health and family.
Our experienced legal team can manage the following:
- File your initial SSDI or SSI applications
- File your appeal
- Track and manage deadlines
- Help you understand why the SSA denied your claim
- Help you bolster your appeal with additional evidence
- Ensure the SSA has the information it needs regarding your medical providers
- Represent you during an ALJ hearing
- Communicate with involved parties on your behalf
- Take action in court if necessary
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Contact Berger and Green About Your Heart Disease Disability Case
Securing SSD benefits can feel confusing and overwhelming, especially while coping with a disabling heart condition. However, you do not have to go through the claims and appeals process alone. Contact Berger and Green today to learn more about how our Altoona heart disease disability lawyers can help you get the monthly payments you need and deserve.
We offer free consultations to help you get started. In addition, we only ask our clients to pay attorney fees if we successfully resolve their matter. So, contact a lawyer near you today.