December 6, 2019

The Functional Capacity Strategy

How to Win Your Cardiac (Heart Disease) Disability Case Using the Functional Capacity Argument

Cardiopathy disability/Cardiac Disability

Cardiopathy is the technical term for cardiac or heart disease. It is a blanket term which is oftentimes used to identify numerous diseases or disorders of the heart which prevent it from functioning normally. Additionally, cardiopathy typically renders an individual disabled and physically incapable of working. If you are afflicted with a heart disease or disorder, there is a strong possibility that you can apply for SSDI benefits and hopefully be awarded those benefits that you deserve and need in order to survive.

Heart disease disability and the Functional Capacity Argument

Social Security Disability attorneys will typically use one of the following arguments when presenting your heart disease disability case to an SSA adjudicator or judge:

  • Functional Capacity argument
  • Grid Rules argument
  • Listing argument

The most commonly used one is the functional capacity argument, and although not every listing level case is identified at either the initial appeal or at the reconsideration appeal, many still are. Whether the decision is right or wrong, disability claim adjudicators who work in state disability offices will deny your claim sometimes. This makes it necessary to appeal and present your case for SSDI benefits to a judge.

Social Security administrative law judges (ALJ’s) are experienced at listening to functional capacity arguments, and a good one will take into consideration how your heart disease or disorder has affected you and impaired your ability to work. Be aware of the fact that the disability adjudicator or judge will evaluate your claim whenever you appeal your denial for SSDI benefits or are in the reconsideration stage.

They will look for hard evidence of what is called a listing level impairment when reviewing your appeal and a functional capacity checklist is necessary to present. One of the benefits of hiring an experienced and qualified Social Security Disability attorney is that they usually create a functional capacity checklist for your physician or specialist to fill out for documenting your heart disease or disorder.

The adjudicator or judge who is reviewing your case usually assigns considerable weight to these “checklists,” as they state the opinion of your treating physician over a lengthy period of time. This checklist is referred to as a Residual Functional Capacity or RFC form and it uses the proper language that SSA adjudicators and judges are familiar with pursuant to determining your eligibility for SSDI benefits.