If COPD has made it impossible for you to work and earn an income, you might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which might be called chronic bronchitis or emphysema, can be disabling and sometimes qualifies for disability benefits.
Because of the complexity of Social Security Disability, thousands of applicants are denied benefits every year. If COPD has made it impossible for you to work and you are ready to apply for disability benefits, a Social Security advocate or attorney can help you improve your chances for a successful claim.
How Does COPD Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The medical guide used by the SSA to determine whether or not an individual is disabled is called the Blue Book. The Blue Book has a listing for COPD, which means that if you meet the criteria of the listing then you are approved for benefits. If you don’t meet the criteria, the SSA will have to evaluate whether or not your COPD restricts your functional capacity enough that you are eligible for benefits.
To qualify for disability with the medical listing, you must meet the criteria of the listing for chronic pulmonary insufficiency. This listing has tables based on age, gender, and height that state the specified lung value for the different tests that are necessary to meet the standards of disability. The SSA wants to see the results from one of these tests:
- DLCO Test – measurement of oxygen in the blood
- Spirometry test – documents your FEV1 value, which is the forced expiratory volume in one second which is the amount of air that you can exhale in a second or your FVC – forced vital capacity
- ABG test – measuring the partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood OR
- An oxygen saturation test.
Your test results must match the criteria set for your age, height and gender.
How Can An Attorney Help Me While Applying?
It can be difficult to determine if you meet the Blue Book criteria with your condition. Your Social Security attorney or advocate can help you collect documentation and medical records then go over them and discuss your limitations and restrictions to determine if you qualify for benefits based on the COPD listing. If you are unable to work more than an hour or two or stand or walk because of exertion you might qualify for disability benefits. Your advocate or attorney will help you get your documentation in order so your claim can be fairly evaluated.
How Can My Attorney Help Me If My Claim Is Denied?
If your claim for disability based on COPD is denied, your Social Security attorney or advocate will help you prove that you cannot earn a substantial gainful income by considering your symptoms along with your side effects of medications and treatments. A medical-vocational allowance can be used where your work history, educational background, medical problems, and age are all considered.
If your claim is denied and you appeal it to request a hearing before an administrative law judge, you will be questioned by a vocational expert about your abilities. Your attorney will help you prepare for the questions you will be asked. Some questions might include, “Does exposure to fumes or dust affect your condition?” “Do you get out of breath when walking or standing?” “Does the coughing or wheezing impact your abilities?”
Connect With An Attorney Today
If COPD is keeping you from working and you want to file a claim for disability benefits, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page so your details can be shared with a local Social Security advocate or attorney so the claims process can get on track.