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Cystic Fibrosis and Social Security Disability

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Jun 07, 2013 | 0 Comments

Cystic Fibrosis and Social Security Disability

Have you ever had a bad cold and had trouble breathing due to a lot of phlegm and mucus? It feels like you are breathing through a puddle. There are people who breath like this everyday because they have cystic fibrosis. “Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.” “In cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes the secretions [in the lungs and digestive tract] to become thick and sticky. Instead of acting as a lubricant, the secretions plug up tubes, ducts and passageways, especially in the lungs and pancreas.” But due to new and improved therapies, many people with cystic fibrosis are able to live and work without the need the Social Security Disability. Symptoms People with respiratory problems can have a persistent cough, wheezing, breathlessness, repeated lung infections, inflamed nasal passages or a stuffy nose. In the digestive system, pancreatic ducts can become clogged and prevent digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to help break down food and may result in poor growth and poor nutrition. Diagnosis There are a couple of ways to test for cystic fibrosis. Newborns are screened at birth. A few drops of blood are taken and tested for high levels of pancreatic chemicals. If the chemical level is high, then a second test is done to diagnose cystic fibrosis. The sweat test is the most common test used for diagnosis. A chemical is used to produce sweat, which is collected and tested to determine the chlorine level. If the chlorine level is high, there is a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. Prospective parents can get a genetic carrier test to determine if both parents are carriers. The only way a child can have cystic fibrosis is if both parents are carriers and the child inherits the CF gene from both parents. Treatments Historically children with cystic fibrosis rarely lived to adulthood. Today, people with cystic fibrosis have a median life expectancy of 37 years. Respiratory therapies are used to thin mucus in the lungs to slow lung damage and improve breathing. To assist with digestion, enzyme replacement therapy is used to help the body absorb vitamins and minerals for better health. In addition, doctors prescribe “healthy foods and exercise to help prevent infections and complications.” SSD requirements Many people with cystic fibrosis go to school and work and live relatively normal lives while dealing with their condition. In order to qualify for SSD benefits, an individual must show they suffered with episodes of bronchitis, pneumonia, or respiratory failure that needed physician intervention at least six times a year. If an individual is hospitalized for more than 24 hours for treatment, that will count as two episodes. Another way to qualify for SSD is having pulmonary infections with bacterial infection that “require intravenous or nebulization antimicrobial therapy” at least once every six months. As we have previously noted, SSD applications require extensive documentation of an applicant's medical condition. Only about 40 percent of people who apply for SSD receive disability payments. If you are considering applying for disability benefits in Georgia, you should contact our experienced attorney. See Related Posts: Diabetes Does Not Always Lead to SSD Benefits Peripheral Artery Disease Leading to the Need for Social Security Disability

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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