Getting benefits is important for the overall livelihood of a person with a disability, but people with atrial fibrillation might not know if they qualify. Atrial fibrillation can be a disabling condition that makes it impossible for people to work, and people with atrial fibrillation need to know how they can qualify and attain disability benefits for the condition. But first, people must find out whether or not they have the condition. There are certain symptoms for atrial fibrillation that people should check for, and patients also need to undergo certain treatments before being able to qualify for some types of benefits. For people who haven’t yet been diagnosed with the condition but think that they might have it, these are some of the key points that they should know about the condition.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Also known as AFib, atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that affects the two top chambers of the heart. These two top chambers beat out of sync with the lower chambers. The two top chambers are called the atria, which is where the condition gets its name, and the lower chambers are called the ventricles. Often, the atria beats rapidly out of sync with the ventricles, which can cause fatigue and shortness of breath as well as several other symptoms. People with AFib might experience these symptoms chronically and regularly, or they might only experience them occasionally.
While some people with the condition might experience symptoms, other people might not notice any symptoms. If the presence of the irregularity in rhythm is chronic, it will impact the amount of blood flow to the heart, and some people with the condition might experience heart failure or stroke.
While some people are born with AFib, there are also ways that it can develop over time. For instance, some people might develop the condition after being sick. Others might develop it because of smoking, consuming too much caffeine, or drinking too much alcohol. There are even some medications that have been linked to the development of the condition. Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common types of heart conditions, and it’s increasing in prevalence in recent years.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
There are several symptoms of AFib, including shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting, chest pains, dizziness, confusion, and anxiety. There are several reasons that a person with AFib will experience these symptoms.
People with atrial fibrillation sometimes experience anxiety and depression because of the way that the condition can make people feel. An inability to breath normally, heart palpitations, and other consequences of atrial fibrillation can make a person feel out of control, and the person suffering from this condition is more likely to experience anxiety because of this feeling of a lack of control over the symptoms. People with the condition might also feel depressed because of an inability to control the symptoms.
An inability to breath normally, fainting, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion in those suffering from AFib experience these symptoms because the heart needs to work harder to supply the brain with oxygen. If the arrhythmia is severe enough, vital organs, such as the brain, don’t receive enough oxygen. When there’s a shortage of blood being pumped through the veins and vital organs don’t receive enough oxygen, people become fatigued and find it more difficult to breath.
People with AFib sometimes experience chest pain because the heart is working harder to pump blood through the body, and each pump is less efficient than it is with someone without AFib.
Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation
People who are experiencing AFib symptoms should be checked by their doctor, who will likely send them to a cardiologist to determine if there’s a need for treatment. Once the condition has been diagnosed, there are a few treatment options available.
Some doctors might prescribe natural treatments as a first option. For instance, someone who is a smoker or heavy drinker might be asked to quit these types of habits right away. A doctor might also ask someone with AFib to limit consumption of caffeine, change eating habits, or engage in stress-relieving activities.
A doctor might also prescribe a variety of medications to lower the risk of stroke and control the arrhythmia. For instance, an anticoagulant might be prescribed to lessen the likelihood that the patient will have blood clots. Other patients might receive a variety of medications to control the severity of the irregularity in heart beats.
If natural options are ineffective, another option is ablation, which is a procedure in which the area where the heart is having the arrhythmia is burned or frozen. Another type of treatment method is electrical cardioversion. With this treatment, electrical shocks are sent to the heart through the chest in an attempt to reset the rhythm. Finally, some patients might need to have a pacemaker placed inside their chest.
Social Security Disability Benefits for Atrial Fibrillation
While the Social Security Administration won’t pay out benefits to everyone with AFib, it’s definitely worth trying. There are two kinds of SSA benefits that people can try to attain.
The first type of benefit that a person with a disability can apply for with the SSA is the Social Security Disability Insurance. This type of insurance is available to people who have paid into social security in the past through a job or through self employment. Most often, people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability are the type of people who will qualify.
The second type of benefit that a person with a disability can apply for is the Supplemental Security Income, which is based on need. People who have below a certain income and level of assets can gain this type of benefit even if they have never worked and paid into social security. This benefit is designed to provide basic necessities to people who are aged, blind, or disabled.
Once a person has determined if they meet the qualifications for any of the disability benefits, they must also gather medical records to show that they have a certain medical history. For people with AFib, they must show that they’ve lost consciousness at least three times in the last 12 months and that they’ve tried traditional means of controlling the condition. People must also prove that the symptoms aren’t related to a different condition that could be treated in another way. If a person doesn’t meet the regular qualifications, they might also undergo the Residual Functional Capacity Assessment, which is a test that looks at certain factors to determine if there is any work that the person can perform without it having a negative impact on their health.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Atrial Fibrillation, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.