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Can You Get Disability For Asthma

Those Who Suffer From Frequent And Severe Asthma Attacks That Can’t Be Controlled With Medication May Get Disability Benefits

Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Asthma

By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system that involves inflammation of the airways. Asthma-related inflammation causes excessive mucous production within the airways, which results in constricted airways. Asthma is triggered by various stimuli, such as pets, medication, pollutions, chemicals, hormones, exposure to cigarette smoke, cold viruses, and other pathogens in the environment.

Symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. Treatment of asthma may include the use of inhalers, nebulizers, medications, and simply limiting exposure to triggering stimuli when possible.

Asthma is a common reason that people apply for Social Security disability benefits. Most people who apply for disability based on asthma, however, are disappointed because they get denied. This is because asthma can often be treated effectively with medication. However, some patients do suffer from serious asthma attacks that can’t be controlled with at-home medication or treatment. In these cases they are often admitted to the hospital for treatments with intravenous bronchodilators, intravenous antibiotics, or prolonged inhalation treatments. Patients with repeated, severe attacks requiring hospitalization should be approved for disability benefits because the frequency and intensity of their asthma attacks is severe enough to prevent them from working.

Disability Benefits For Asthma Copd & Other Respiratory Disorders

COPD, asthma and other respiratory disorders can cause significant limitations which can effectively prevent individuals from being able to sustain the requirements of full-time employment. Individuals who are seeking Disability benefits due to having severe breathing issues can be approved if their condition, symptoms and their effect in their daily life are well documented by objective medical evidence

In certain severe cases, benefits can be granted rather promptly if the individual effectively meets all the requirements of one of the Social Security medical listings. Social Security has recently revised their medical criteria for evaluating respiratory systems disorders as we will explain further. Alternatively, if an individual does not meet the requirement of the medical listings, but still has limitations that affect his functioning, eligibility for disability benefits can also be established by proving an inability to sustain performance of any past relevant work, or any other type of job that exists in the United States.

Often times, COPD can be accompanied by another disorder: sleep apnea. With this condition, individuals often experience daytime fatigue and reduced functioning because of their lack of restful sleep at night.

Asthma Disability Benefits & Your Responsibilities

If you have asthma and are applying forSocial Security Disability, youll need to show the Social Security Administration that you meetdisability qualifications. The SSA will send your claim to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination for a medical review, which will include an analysis of allmedical evidence and information by a physician and disability examiner.

Youll need to provide everything that this physician and examiner team will need to determine:

  • The severity of your condition
  • How long youve experienced asthma
  • How asthma affects your ability to perform work-related physical and mental activities

If the Pennsylvania BDD does not have enough information to determine whether youre disabled, they may request additional information or aconsultative examination, which may include more tests and a new medical exam. This consultative examination is paid for by the Pennsylvania BDD and is preferably performed by your treating doctor or facility, but exceptions may be made.

Read Also: Relieve Asthma Without Inhaler

Record Of Disability: She Had None

The second element of the disability test is regarded as having a disability.; In Merit, the court found she had no record of a disability.;;

The court based this based on her inability to show that her asthma limited any major life activity.; Thus, she had no record of a disability.

This is the reason why the first element is so crucial for disability cases.; The other two elements are hard to prove.

If you cannot prove that your life has been restricted in some way, you likely cannot prove that you have a record of a disability.

Unfortunately, the plaintiff did not fare any better on the last element.;;

Sleep Apnea Secondary To Asthma

Can You Get Disability For Lung Diseases

By law, service connection may be established on a secondary basis for a disability which is proximately due to or the result of service-connected disease or injury. See 38 CFR § 3.310. ;

Establishing service connection on a secondary basis requires evidence sufficient to show Medical diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea that the Sleep Apnea was either proximately caused by or proximately aggravated by a service-connected disability. Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 .

When there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence regarding any issue material to the determination of a matter, the Secretary shall give the benefit of the doubt to the claimant.;38 USCA § 5107; 38 CFR § 3.102; see also Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 49, 53 .

To service connect Sleep Apnea secondary to Asthma, youll need to get an Independent Medical Opinion Medical Nexus Letter to support the connection between Sleep Apnea and Asthma.

Recent medical research discusses the bidirectional relationship between sleep apnea and asthma and several studies support the finding of asthma worsening sleep apnea and vice versa.;

There are direct mechanical effects of asthma worsening sleep apnea beyond its natural progression.

Heres a recent BVA case decision where a veteran got service connected for obstructive sleep apnea secondary to asthma. ;

Recommended Reading: What Happens If You Have Asthma And Smoke Weed

Proving Functional Capacity Limitations

The measured ability to complete tasks in spite of your condition is referred to as your functional capacity. When your condition causes frequent and extreme attacks, your ability to be a reliable employee greatly diminishes, which in turn, can compromise your employment. To convince the SSA that your functional capacity is low enough to warrant disability, you must be able to show that your condition will not allow you to sustain employment. You can help illustrate your decreased functional capacity by including the following with your claim:

What Are The Criteria For Qualifying For Social Security Disability With Severe Asthma

Not everyone with asthma will qualify for Social Security disability since most cases can be managed by following a treatment plan. To receive benefits, you must be able to prove your asthma is severe enough to prevent you from performing your job. You must also have worked long enough at a job where you paid Federal Insurance Contributions Act premiums in the past.

The Social Security Administration will first check to see that you are not working and making enough money to meet the substantial gainful activity level. As of 2018, this means your asthma must be preventing you from making more than $1,180 per month. Your inability to work as a result of your asthma must be expected to last for at least the next 12 months.

From there you must be able to provide medical evidence to demonstrate the severity of your asthma. One way of doing this is by meeting the criteria specified by the SSA. This means you must have:

  • Been hospitalized at least three times in one year as a result of your severe asthma. Each hospitalization must be at least 30 days apart and have lasted for at least 48 hours.

  • A low FEV1 value. This is your forced expiratory volume, meaning how forcefully you can breathe out for one second. Its measured using a machine called a spirometer. The SSA provides a chart for FEV1 values based on your age, sex, and height. Your FEV1 value must be lower than whats listed in the chart.

Read Also: Can You Develop Asthma When Pregnant

How The Social Security Administration Classifies Asthma

In order to evaluate disability claims, the SSA uses a medical catalog called the Listing of Impairments. ;The Listing, which is divided into separate sections for adults and children, provides the specific guidelines used by the SSA. ;The information contained with your claim will be compared against the material in the Listing in order to determine whether your condition precludes you from working.

Asthma is included in the Listing under Section 3.00, Respiratory Impairments. This means that asthma can qualify you for monthly benefits.

However, your asthma will need to meet certain requirements. ;For example, the Listing states, the asthma listing specifically includes a requirement for continuing signs and symptoms despite a regimen of prescribed treatment.

Under Section 3.03, your;asthma must be accompanied by either:

  • Chronic Asthmatic Bronchitis
  • Attacks

The SSA defines attacks as prolonged symptomatic episodes lasting one or more days and requiring intensive treatment.;Intensive treatment might include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Inhalational Bronchodilator Therapy
  • Intravenous Bronchodilator
  • Require intervention by a doctor.
  • Happen at least once every two months, or six times per year.
  • Attacks must meet all three of those requirements.

    Furthermore, asthma is subject to a minimum 12-month duration requirement.

    Not Everyone With Asthma Qualifies For Social Security Disability Benefits

    Can I get Disability Benefits if I Suffer from Chronic Lung Disease?

    Approximately 18.4 million people over the age of 18 suffer from asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , but not all of them qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you can control your asthma by avoiding environmental triggers and by using medication, then you will not be eligible for benefits. However, if you experience frequent, sudden, and severe asthma attacks despite treatment then you may be unable to work and you may qualify for benefits.

    The Social Security disability application process is confusing, but you can be prepared. Learn more about applying for benefits by reading Attorney;John Keefes book,;Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process or by contacting our firm directly by phone or via this website to schedule an initial meeting.

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    Also Check: Do Oxygen Levels Drop During Asthma Attack

    Inability To Work Due To Asthma

    Most long term disability insurance policies define disability as a medical condition that prevents you from performing the duties of your occupation. Getting approved for long term disability due to your asthma will require explaining to your insurance company the specific ways that your asthma symptoms prevent you from working.

    For example, poorly controlled asthma may result in frequent and unexpected sick days forcing you to miss an important meeting or causing you to fall behind on your work. Your coughing and constant shortness of breath may keep you up most of the night, resulting in severe fatigue and an inability to concentrate the following day.;Or, a stress-induced coughing or wheezing episode may frequently come on at very inopportune times such as in the middle of a presentation or during a telephone call with a new client.

    If your asthma symptoms are induced by physical exertion, traveling to meetings while carrying your heavy briefcase may cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest pains.; If you make it to your meeting after experiencing these symptoms, you may not be in the right frame of mind to successfully conduct your business.;;;;;;;;;;

    What To Know About Asthma

    A type of respiratory disorder, asthma is an inflammatory lung disorder that effects your ability to breathe by constricting airways. When someone with asthma takes a deep breath, instead of their airways relaxing like normal, they may constrict or start to spasm. When this happens the airway narrowing the person becomes breathless, begins to wheeze, and gasps for air. This is called an asthmatic episode.

    Asthmatic episodes can be classified as either chronic or acute. When people typically think of asthma, dealing with allergies and sinus drainage, they are thinking of chronic asthma. In addition to allergies, chronic asthma can be associated with bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD. All of these conditions vary in length and severity of attack.

    Just like most other medical conditions, there are different stages to asthma. The two primary stages are

    • Hyper-Reactive Response: When the muscles in your airway tighten because of an outside stimulant.
    • Inflammatory Response: When the immune system triggers the airway to swell then fill with fluid to produce mucous. This is what makes people with asthma sensitive to common air particles dust and pollution and cold air, normal exercise, and even emotional stress.

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    Can I Get Approved For Disability With Anxiety Ibs Asthma Migraines Ocd Bad Vision Bronchitis And Depression

    Can You Get Disability For Lung Diseases

    I’m considering applying for disability. I haven’t worked since 2002 cause I’ve been a full time mom. My health has gotten worse since then. I’vebeen diagnosed with chronic asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic migraines, severe IBS, OCD , ADD, Clinical Depression, Anxiety Disorder,Slight Manic, & Bad Vision. Do I have a chance of be approved?disabling according to SSA requirements and guidelinesyour date last insured in the pastcoverage for SSD via your work creditsappeal any disability denialsMost popular topics on SSDRC.com

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    Social Security Disability Benefits For Asthma

    The Difference Between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income

    Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects the airways and can make it difficult to breathe. Several factors may trigger asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. In severe cases, asthma may limit your activity and affect your ability to perform day-to-day tasks. Since asthma can interfere with normal daily activities, the Social Security Administration considers it an approved medical condition. This means individuals who cannot work for one year may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits for asthma.

    A Supportive Doctor Goes A Long Way

    It is almost always helpful to submit a;supportive opinion from your doctor. Your doctors support is one of the most important factors youre your insurance company is deciding your disability claim. In fact, your insurance company will likely;require;an opinion report from your doctor.;

    Your doctor’s report should focus on the frequency and severity of your symptoms, positive physical examination findings, direct observations of you during office visits, and the specific restrictions and limitations that prevent you from working.;

    Read Also: How To Control Your Asthma Naturally

    Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Asthma In Pennsylvania

    Today, millions of Americans live with some form of disability. ;For many of these individuals, their medical condition is so severe that it prevents them from going to work and earning an income. ;Of course, life doesnt pause for health issues and neither do your utility bills, housing expenses, groceries, and other day-to-day costs. However, theres good news: the SSA spends billions of dollars on monthly programs every year to help those who cannot work.

    Unfortunately, its more difficult than you might think to get a claim approved. ;Even if an injury or illness feels very obvious and real to you and your physician, the SSA will still need to review your application, a large part of which rests on the strength of the medical documentation you are able to provide. ;So how does the SSA evaluate asthma claims? ;If you have asthma, can you qualify for disability benefits?

    What Your Disability Application Should Include

    Asthma VA Disability Claims and Ratings

    In order to maximize your chances of receiving disability benefits for asthma, your application should contain detailed medical-records that clearly show the extent of your asthmatic condition. Make sure you include documentation of every asthma attack that required hospitalization, as well as the treatment that you were required to undergo while in the hospital. Your medical-records also should demonstrate the treatment and how it may have failed to make your situation better.

    At Disability Expertts of Florida, we believe that every case should be evaluated based on its individual merits and are here to help you apply for disability benefits.

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    What Is Asthma In Veterans

    According to the Mayo Clinic, asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus.

    This can make breathing more difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

    For some veterans, asthma is a minor nuisance.

    For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

    While asthma cant be cured, its symptoms can be controlled.

    Because asthma often changes over time, its important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.

    Va Disability Ratings For Asthma

    Asthma, also called bronchial asthma, is a respiratory condition in which a persons airways become inflamed, making it difficult to breath. When the airways become inflamed and narrow, some people may cough, wheeze, or experience shortness of breath. Severity ranges from person-to-person and can be minor or very severe.

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