Does My Asthma Qualify Me For Social Security Disability?
Many Social Security disability applicants are all too familiar with the symptoms that accompany asthma. Wheezing, chest tightening, coughing–asthma sufferers sometimes feel like they are suffocating. Asthmatics know that these symptoms can interfere with your life and prevent you from doing your job. Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by the constant inflammation of the lung's bronchioles (breathing passages). Episodes can be triggered by a wide variety of factors, including pet dander, dust, pollution, seasonal allergens, foods, food preservatives, among many others. Fortunately, most asthmatics live a full and happy life. Some sufferers, however, are plagued with chronic attacks that negatively impact their ability to retain employment. These sufferers may be eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits. If your condition meets one of these four guidelines that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has set forth, you may be eligible to apply for benefits: 1. Inability to Work. If an asthmatic is no longer able to hold down a job–any job–because of their symptoms, the suffering party may be eligible for disability coverage. 2. Intense Attacks. For the purposes of your Social Security disability claim, your attacks must have required intensive treatment. Specifically, you and your physician must be unable to control your condition with prescribed medication, leading to hospital stays for extended treatments, like antibiotics or use of an inhalation bronchodilator, to cope with your attacks. 3. Frequent Attacks. The SSA will evaluate frequency by looking at attacks within the prior 12 month period. Eligible applicants should have had at least six attacks within that period. Patients must provide evidence of hospital stays, as well as treatment measures taken at the hospital and spirometric test results from between hospital stays which proved your airways were consistently obstructed. 4. Lasting Damage. You must be able to present a convincing case that your asthma has caused permanent damage to your lungs and bronchioles. Evidence is often in the form of a medical history, chest x-rays, and pulmonary testing. If you meet the above qualifications, it would be in your best interest to contact a Social Security disability lawyer to further discuss your options. A disability lawyer will be able to help you through the claims process and initiate appeals should your claim be denied.