Q: I was diagnosed with diastolic congestive heart failure i cannot work. Am i eligible for ssi?do i need a lawyer?
A: I strongly recommend that you consult with a disability lawyer as soon as possible since you have a severe medical condition. Most disability lawyers have free consultations and will be able to discuss with you the financial requirements you have to meet for SSI and the medical requirements to get a favorable Social Security decision.
SSI is a program that pays benefits to individuals with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. There are rules as to what income and resources are countable. For example, the limit for countable resources is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. To get a basic understanding of the financial requirements, go to https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm.
The rules on whether or not a person is disabled are complex. Social Security considers an individual “disabled” if you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for 12 months, and results in marked and severe functional limitations; or is expected to result in death. The Listing of Impairments (listings) is a good place to start a discussion with a disability lawyer about your diastolic congestive heart failure. Look at listing 4.02 at https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/4.00-Cardiovascular-Adult.htm. You do not have to meet or equal a listing to qualify for Social Security Disability. There is an entire evaluation process that is used to evaluate a person's conditions. A disability lawyer will be able to help discuss all of the rules and steps involved.
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