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Qualifying for Social Security Disability: Chronic heart failure

You have been dealing with cardiovascular issues for a while now, living with heart failure. You've decided that it's getting harder to work, so you want to go onto Social Security Disability.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits isn't as easy as it may seem. Having a condition like yours isn't an automatic guarantee that you'll be approved to receive benefits, either.

To start with, you do need to show that you worked enough to qualify for SSDI. The Social Security Administration determines how many credits you need based on your age and work history.

You also need to meet the medical criteria for Social Security Disability. To qualify with chronic heart failure, you need to show that:

  • You've been diagnosed with chronic heart failure even while following the prescribed medical treatment plan.
  • You have persistently dealt with symptoms of heart failure and are limited in your ability to live independently, or you have three documented cases of acute congestive heart failure within 12 months. You may also meet this requirement if you cannot perform an exercise tolerance test that is set at a workload equivalent of 5METs or less.
  • You have other medical documentation of the heart failure that meets the specific criteria being used by SSA in it's Blue Book, or manual of disabling conditions.

It can be tough to live with such a serious chronic condition. It can also be hard to understand why it is so difficult to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits when you have a potentially life-threatening illness. It's important to remember that the Social Security Administration needs significant information about your case. The more information you can provide to them, the better off you will be when you apply.

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