Discussion Forum
A place for registered ACHA members to discuss issues with other members of the ACHA community and provide and receive support.

Applying: Information You Need to

Fill out the Application

  • Social Security number and proof of age (certified birth certificate)
  • Where you’ve worked
  • Your most recent tax return
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and clinics where you have gotten care, as well as dates of treatment
  • Names and doses of all medicines you are taking and how often you take them
  • Copies of medical records from all doctors and hospitals where you were treated in the past three years, including office notes, labs and reports from echoes, EKGs, chest CTs, cardiac caths, heart MRIs, surgery, cardioversions, ablations, etc.
  • A detailed letter from your doctor about you and how your condition affects you at home and at your job. Getting disability is often based on what the doctors and hospitals say. The letter should include:
    • Your doctor’s qualifications and how long you’ve been his patient.
    • Your diagnosis and how it meets the criteria in the Social Security “Blue Book”. (For more information, click here.)
    • Most CHD falls under section 4.06, Symptomatic Congenital Heart Disease, although other sections may be relevant (such as 4.02 [Chronic Heart Failure], 4.05 [Recurrent arrhythmias], 4.09 [Heart Transplant]).
    • Detailed medical history and examination results, including lab findings (such as blood pressure, x-rays, or pulse ox readings); treatment and how you respond to it; and your long-term outcome.
    • What activities you can do or cannot do at home and work and why.
    • If fatigue (for example, due to low oxygen levels) requires you to rest frequently and nap daily.
    • How your condition prevents you from working in your current or in previous jobs.
    • If there are work limitations because of your condition (for example, do low O2 levels zap your energy and make it hard for you to function and how?).
    • If you can sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, handle objects, hear, speak, and travel as part of a normal work day. If you can understand, carry out, remember instructions, and respond appropriately to supervision, coworkers, and pressures in the course of a normal work day.
    • If you can work in a job for eight hours a day and 40 hours a work week with “normal” breaks in a position that requires you to sit up to six hours daily, stand or walk two hours daily and occasionally lift 10 pounds.