If you have been denied Social Security with COPD, you should know the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers claimants a second chance to make a positive first impression.
You have the right to file an appeal for a COPD denied disability claim. However, your appeal must include more convincing medical evidence, as well as the results of a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that measures how COPD has impacted your work performance.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and the Blue Book
When medical examiners from the SSA reviewed your initial claim, they referred to a guide called the Blue Book to determine whether COPD qualifies you for financial assistance.
You have to do more than meet the listing requirement in the Blue Book, which COPD does in Section 3.02. The SSA requires Social Security disability applicants to meet the severity of symptoms standards listed in the Blue Book as well.
For COPD, some of the most common serious COPD symptoms include constant wheezing, acute shortness of breath, and intense chest pressure. If you do not meet the severity of symptoms standards, you can expect to have your claim denied with COPD.
Medical Tests That Are Needed
If the SSA wants to see one thing in your appeal for denied disability benefits, it is more persuasive medical evidence than what you submitted with your original claim.
For COPD, a battery of lung function tests measure the amount of air that you can inhale and exhale. Your physician can also determine whether your lungs are pumping enough into your blood.
Lack of blood oxygen can eventually lead to the development of anemia. A series of chest x-rays taken over several weeks can indicate whether your COPD has gotten much worse. CT scans can detect the development of emphysema, which can prompt your doctor to recommend surgery.
Why an RFC Assessment Matters for an Appeal COPD Disability Claim
All the diagnostic tests for COPD might not convince the medical examiner reviewing your claim that you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
The SSA might ask you to undergo an RFC assessment for COPD, which comprises several physical tests that measure your stamina and ability to remain on your feet for extended periods if you work a physically demanding job.
Because COPD can reduce oxygen levels in the blood, the medical examiner conducting your RFC assessment wants to know how long you can perform basic job functions.
You might complete exercises that measure stamina, such as walking for 15 to 30 minutes, as well as running in place on a stationary machine. COPD also places incredible pressure on the chest, especially when someone starts to experience stress and anxiety. You might go through a simulation of a typical workday to see how well you respond to stress.
What You Can Do Next
Getting help from an experienced Social Security can prepare you for the disability benefits appeals process. Your lawyer can help you collect the medical documents you need to submit a stronger claim the second time around.
Just as important, your Social Security lawyer can let you know what to expect during an RFC assessment.
Submitting a Social Security disability appeal requires you to meet a deadline. You have 60 days after receiving the denial letter to file an appeal. Schedule a free case evaluation with a Social Security lawyer to get the ball rolling on your appeal.