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Written by: Bruce L. Weider | 5.10.2024

Social Security Disability Benefits For Individuals With A Respiratory Disability

Several lung-related conditions can allow someone to obtain Social Security Disability benefits, provided they are either a recognized condition, a respiratory condition meeting the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book requirements, or if the condition is a relatively rare one necessitating a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. For individuals with a respiratory condition, understanding whether they can receive financial assistance can be highly beneficial, particularly if their condition makes it challenging to work. Read about the benefits available to those with a respiratory disability, and find out how a Michigan Social Security Disability attorney can help these individuals acquire this financial support by contacting Bruce L. Weider, PC at (734) 485-0535.

What Is a Respiratory Disability?

Respiratory disabilities encompass a range of conditions that affect an individual's ability to breathe efficiently, leading to limitations in daily activities, work tasks, and other types of physical exertion. These disabilities arise from various respiratory disorders that impede respiratory function and overall lung health.

What Breathing Disorders Qualify for Social Security Disability?

When individuals cannot work due to severe respiratory disorders, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. The SSA's Blue Book outlines specific respiratory disorders that may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Some of the common breathing disorders considered include the following:

  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing disorders
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic pulmonary insufficiency

Is Respiratory Illness Considered a Disability?

A common query when evaluating respiratory disorders for Social Security Disability claims is whether the SSA considers a respiratory illness a disability, which depends on the impact of the respiratory disorder on an individual's ability to work full-time. In the context of SSDI benefits, respiratory disabilities are qualifying conditions if they significantly limit a person's respiratory function.

Does Respiratory Failure Qualify for Disability?

Respiratory failure can be a valid basis for seeking SSD benefits, provided the individual applying meets certain criteria. Here are the key factors the SSA considers for a successful SSD claim:

  • Severity: The respiratory impairment should prevent the individual from working full-time.
  • Duration: The condition must have lasted for at least one year or have an expectancy to last at least a year.
  • Life-threatening: Especially when coupled with other diseases or disorders, the respiratory disorder may be life-threatening.

In the SSA's Blue Book Listing of Impairments, under section 3.00 Respiratory Disorders, individuals with respiratory failure may qualify for SSD benefits if their condition significantly impacts their respiratory function and ability to work full-time. Respiratory failure occurs when the respiratory system cannot provide enough oxygen to meet the body's needs or effectively remove carbon dioxide.

What Is an Essential Person for SSDI?

According to the SSA, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) refers to a program of social insurance enabling workers to acquire benefits through working and making Social Security tax payments on their wages. This program gives disabled workers benefits (alongside their dependents) and replaces a proportion of a person’s income when they can no longer work as a result of a disability.

Understanding the key aspects that make an individual eligible for SSDI benefits is crucial to navigating the disability claims process effectively. Below are several key considerations regarding applying for SSDI with a respiratory condition.

Respiratory Disability Criteria for SSDI

Individuals with respiratory disabilities may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if they have certain chronic conditions that significantly impact their ability to work, which can help support their financial needs. Some of the qualifying respiratory disorders include:

  • Chronic respiratory disorders, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and pneumoconiosis
  • Acute respiratory disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic pulmonary hypertension
  • Lung transplant
  • Respiratory failure
  • Restrictive lung disease (RLD)
  • Stroke-related respiratory issues
  • Pneumonia

Employees may find they struggle to obtain short-term or long-term financial support for their respiratory illnesses. If you are unable to obtain SSD benefits for your respiratory disability, a seasoned Michigan Social Security Disability attorney might be able to help. Visit the contact page of Bruce L. Weider, PC today to learn how to arrange a consultation.

Importance of Medical Documentation

Presenting strong medical evidence is paramount when seeking SSDI benefits for a respiratory condition. The SSA relies heavily on medical documentation to assess the extent of the respiratory impairment and its effect on the individual's ability to engage in substantial gainful activity.

In light of this, thorough and detailed medical records are essential for a successful disability claim. Example evidence may include the following:

  • Medical history: Examples include detailed records of previous diagnoses, treatments, and responses to medications.
  • Physical examinations: This refers to ongoing examination findings relevant to the respiratory impairment.
  • Imaging tests: The results of medical assessments like X-rays or CT scans to assess the condition are examples of relevant imaging tests.
  • Pulmonary function tests: Examples are spirometry results to evaluate respiratory function.
  • Supplemental oxygen usage: This is evidence of any supplemental oxygen therapy prescribed.

Respiratory Function Evaluation

Respiratory function tests play a significant role in assessing eligibility for SSD benefits. The Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second (FEV1) test is a common spirometry evaluation used to measure lung function. If the FEV1 value falls below 70% of the predicted normal value, further assessments, such as post-bronchodilator spirometry, may be necessary to evaluate the respiratory disorder accurately.

Frequently Asked Questions About SSD and Respiratory Conditions

Individuals looking to apply for SSD may have various queries. To address these, here are some frequently asked questions concerning Social Security Disability and respiratory conditions.

Why Is It Important Not To Delay Medical Attention for Respiratory Conditions When Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Delaying medical attention can result in a lack of essential medical evidence to support SSD claims. Prompt diagnosis and treatment help build a strong medical record showcasing the impact of respiratory disorders on daily life and work, increasing the chances of approval for Social Security benefits.

What Role Do Healthcare Providers Play in Supporting Disability Claims Related to Respiratory Disorders?

Healthcare providers are instrumental in diagnosing and documenting respiratory conditions, which provides the critical medical evidence required for disability claims. By consulting with healthcare professionals promptly, individuals can establish a close working relationship to ensure their medical records accurately reflect the severity and limitations of their respiratory disorder, enhancing the likelihood of a successful Social Security Disability benefits application.

Why Was I Denied Disability Benefits if I Have a Respiratory Condition?

Claim denials can occur for various reasons, including a lack of sufficient medical evidence, incomplete paperwork or documentation, or a failure to meet specific SSDI criteria. Appealing a denial might be possible through effective legal guidance and by addressing the deficiencies in the initial claim.

Contact a Michigan Social Security Disability Attorney Today

SSD benefits could be available to individuals with a respiratory condition that makes it challenging to complete job duties and daily activities. Consider speaking to an experienced attorney to get help with applying for SSD benefits and acquiring other eligible financial and medical benefits. Contact a Michigan Social Security Disability lawyer from Bruce L. Weider, PC at (734) 485-0535 to understand more about proving the severity of a respiratory disability and establishing your legal right to financial support.

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