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Can I get disability benefits for my asthma?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2019 | Firm News

You work long hours and tire quickly at your factory job. Occasional flare-ups from your asthma are typical. But lately, the attacks are getting worse. You are missing work, and giving your family excuses for not attending functions is getting old.

Are Social Security Disability benefits an option for you? To qualify, you must work a certain number of years and pay Social Security taxes. You also must have a medical condition which the Social Security Administration considers severe and long-term.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease involving the airways in the lungs. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. Various stimuli such as pet dander, pollutants, cigarette smoke and other allergies can trigger an asthma attack.

Depending on the severity of the attack, you may only require at-home treatments or medications. More severe cases need hospital visits for the use of antibiotics, long inhalation treatments and bronchodilators.

Does SSDI cover asthma?

The short answer is yes. The Social Security Administration or SSA has a Blue Book. This lists the categories and specifications of each medical condition. The Blue Book helps SSA to determine whether a person has a disability which is severe and long-term. The Blue Book lists asthma in section 3.03 of adult respiratory disorders.

How do I qualify?

The SSA has two requirements for qualification in addition to medical records:

  1. Your FEVvalue is low for your age, height and gender. FEVis the maximal amount of air forcefully exhaled in one second.
  2. You must have exacerbations or complications which required a 48-hour stay each time within one year. The 48 hours includes the time you spent in the emergency room.

The SSA uses medical evidence to document and assess the severity of your asthma. The medical records should contain the following:

  • Medical history
  • Information on physical examinations
  • Imaging
  • Pulmonary functions tests
  • Laboratory tests
  • Prescribed treatments

If you have asthma attacks which require multiple hospital visits and trips to the ER, you may have a good chance for approval. Speaking in-depth with your doctor and an attorney can make applying for SSDI an easier process.