Can You Receive Disability Benefits If You Have COPD?
Millions of Americans face chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) every year. It can be a pain to live with, but you can qualify for social security disability benefits, which can help make life a little easier. There are many treatments that can help you, so do not think that your disease is a lost cause.
COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that prevents air from going into the lungs. It is extremely common among 40 to 60 year old adults. More than three million people in the United States get this disease per year. The principal cause is tobacco smoking, but people can acquire it when they are exposed to burning fuel fumes and from heating from poorly ventilated homes.
Symptoms often do not show up until significant damage has occurred to the lungs. Some symptoms of are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Clearing your throat, due to mucus in the lungs
- Productive cough
- Blueness of the lips/fingernails
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Swelling in ankles, feet or legs
This disease can be prevented. Most cases are related to cigarette smoking, so try to refrain from smoking and from second-hand smoking.
Many people are misdiagnosed with COPD, so go to your doctor if you believe you have this condition. They will go over your symptoms and may run some tests. These tests may include a lung function test, a chest x-ray, a CT scan, arterial blood gas analysis and some other laboratory tests. The good news is that there are many treatments, which include medications (bronchodilators, inhaled steroids and theophylline), lung therapies, surgery and exacerbations management.
Can You Get Disability Benefits?
Social security disability benefits are available for people who suffer from COPD. The good thing is that it is specifically listed in the Social Security Office’s Blue Book which is a list of the diseases and disorders and their symptoms that the SSA covers under disability. There is a specific list of symptoms that you must meet in order for you to get disability benefits when you have COPD. The SSA is looking for results from one of four tests:
- Spirometry test that documents your FEV1 value
- DLCO test
- ABG test
- Oxygen saturation test
If you have been to the hospital at least three times in the last year due to this condition, each trip lasting at least 48 hours and occurring at least 30 days apart, then you will be approved for disability.
How Do You Apply For Benefits?
There are a couple options for you to apply:
- Call the Social Security Office. Their phone number is 1-800-772-1213.
- Apply online at https://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/.
- Visit your local Social Security Office and physically fill out the paperwork. An appointment is required. You can visit https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp to find the nearest office.
- Talk do a disability attorney if you feel overwhelmed by the process and want to make sure you are properly applying for disability benefits.
You will get approved or rejected within three to five months.
No one wants to have COPD, but there are ways to make it easier to live with. There are many treatments that can help you and you can apply for benefits with the Social Security Administration if your COPD becomes too challenging to work normally. Your COPD must be hindering your normal ability to function in that you can no longer do the work you previously did before your COPD condition. Disability benefits will help make sure you can live comfortably financially as you live with COPD. Talk to us today at the Law Offices of Daniel Berger to see if you qualify for disability benefits.