Marfan syndrome can have a wide number of effects on the body. It can cause issues with the heart and circulatory system, nervous system, lungs, eyes, bones, and skin. If your Marfan syndrome symptoms prevent you from working, we may be able to help you apply for and receive monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The Pittsburgh attorneys from Berger and Green know what it takes to get Social Security Disability (SSD) for Marfan syndrome. We will review your claim, help you file your application, and even walk you through the appeals process and represent you in your hearing if your initial claim received a denial. If you need assistance getting disability benefits in the Pittsburgh area, call us today at 412-661-1400. We offer free initial case reviews to our disability clients.
How Can I Prove I Have a Qualifying Disability?
While the SSA publishes a book of impairments and the related medical criteria, Marfan syndrome is not listed as one of these qualifying conditions. Some of its symptoms do have their own impairment listings, so you may qualify based on the impairment that prevents you from working.
One of the most common and serious complications people with Marfan syndrome suffer is an aortic aneurysm. If you suffer from an aortic aneurysm and meet the criteria listed in Section 4.10 – Aneurysm of Aorta or Major Branches, you may qualify for benefits. This includes having medical documentation that your aneurysm in uncontrolled and permanent. Your doctor can help you if you have any questions about this requirement. He or she can advise you if you meet the criteria, and ensure your condition is well-documented in your medical records.
If you believe you may meet these criteria, we will be glad to look over your application and help you file your claim. We can also help you review your qualifications for SSD benefits, and explain if we believe you meet the SSA’s definition of disabled based on an impairment listing. If not, you may still qualify based on the information in your medical records.
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How Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits If I Do Not Meet an Impairment Listing?
In many cases, it is not a single complication of Marfan syndrome that prevents you from working, but a combination of several side effects. If your medical records document these impairments and it is evident you cannot work, you will qualify for benefits even if you do not meet the criteria present in the impairment listings.
When the disability examiner first receives your application, they will request your medical records and review them to see if you meet an impairment listing. If not, they will use your treatment notes, imaging scans, diagnostic testing results, and other information to assign you with a residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC explains what type of activities you are capable of doing, how often, and for how long. If your RFC states you cannot work, you will most likely qualify for disability benefits.
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What Other Qualifications Do I Need to Meet to Get SSD Benefits?
Before the disability examiner ever receives your application, the staff of your local Social Security field office will review it and ensure you meet all technical qualifications. While this is typically the “easy” part of qualifying for benefits, many people receive denials every year based on technical problems. Each of the SSA’s disability programs has its own technical qualifications, and we can help you review these before you submit your claim.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) requires you to have a certain number of work credits, earned through your work history. This means you will not qualify unless you worked for several years before applying for benefits. If you currently work, your earned income also needs to be less than the SSA’s substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit. Our attorneys can look at your employment history and financial records to determine if you meet the criteria to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not have a work credits requirement. Instead, this program is needs-based, and you must meet strict income and asset limits to qualify. You must earn below a set amount each month and have few personal assets and resources. The SSA allows us to exclude certain forms of income and some assets from your finances. After we review your information, we can determine if you meet the technical qualifications for the SSI program.
What Should I Do If the SSA Denied My Initial Disability Claim?
It is not uncommon for the SSA to deny applicants who seem to have a strong claim for benefits. If you receive a letter of denial, do not panic. This does not mean you will not ever get the benefits you need. It just means you need to call us and let us handle your appeal. We need to act quickly to file for your appeal hearing, so call us as soon as possible.
Once you call us, we can request an appeal hearing. It may take many months to get before a judge, but this gives us time to review your application and determine why you did not receive approval. We will collect evidence to prove you qualify. When the hearing date comes, we will present the evidence in front of an administrative law judge who has the authority to overturn your denial and approve you for benefits. In most cases, qualifying clients receive approval after this step of the appeals process.
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How Can I Talk to a Pittsburgh SSD Lawyer About My Case?
At Berger and Green, our legal team will help you secure the SSD benefits you deserve. We will review your application for SSDI or SSI, and help you file it. We can also help you navigate the appeals process, if you received a denial of your initial claim. You can reach our Pittsburgh office at 412-661-1400. We offer case reviews free of charge, and you pay us nothing until we win your case. Call us today to get started.