Asthma is a very common lung disorder. Victims can experience shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in their chests and coughing. In extreme cases, an asthma attack can even result in death.
But, is asthma actually disabling? More than 27 million people in the United States, or roughly one in every 12, have asthma – and roughly 22 million of them are adults. While they don’t all qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, some do. Here’s what you need to know:
It all depends upon the frequency and severity of your condition
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates disability claims for asthma, the agency looks at various factors. Two of the most important are the severity of your condition and the frequency with which intensive medical intervention is required.
If your condition is well-controlled with an inhaler and the occasional use of steroids or a nebulizer, you probably won’t qualify for SSDI. On the other hand, if you have frequent hospitalizations for prolonged bronchodilator therapy or intravenous IVs and steroids, you may very well be entitled to benefits. Per SSA, hospitalizations are “frequent” when you are hospitalized for at least 48 hours at a time, with each hospitalization 30 days apart but all within a 12-month period.
However, it’s also important to keep in mind that SSA will also consider any comorbid conditions that you have in addition to asthma and how those may cause additional limitations. For example, obesity, cardiovascular disease and allergies are often seen in people with asthma, and those also can be debilitating. For that reason, it’s important to never assume that you can’t qualify for SSDI simply because you don’t exactly meet the description of a disabling condition in SSA’s “Listing of Impairments.”
If you’re having a hard time getting your SSDI claim approved, it may be time to seek legal guidance.