Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is sometimes called emphysema or chronic bronchitis, is a progressive lung condition that leads to an increased loss of breath. COPD is a term that describes multiple progressive lung disorders. If your COPD has advanced to a level that you are unable to work, you might want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two programs that provide monthly disability benefits to disabled workers. To increase the chances of a successful claim, include the following in your disability application:
- Medical documents– You will need to provide medical documents that confirm your diagnosis, the severity of your condition and your restrictions and limitations. There are many different medical records that can help support a disability claim for a claimant suffering from COPD. Be sure to provide an accurate and detailed listing of places where you sought medical care and treatment for COPD. This list should include the names, addresses, and phone numbers of medical doctors, clinics, laboratories, hospitals, and caseworkers who helped you with your care. Be sure to include physician notes, test results, lab results, confirmation of diagnosis, treatment records, and so forth.
- Other information – You should provide supporting documentation in addition to your medical records. As an example, you will need to provide evidence of past employment to show that you were able to work full-time before your medical condition progressed. Prepare a summary that includes the names and addresses of former employers, job roles, and responsibilities. You will need to provide your most recent W-2, or if you are self-employed, your most recent federal tax return. You will need to supply your birth certificate, Social Security card, and photo ID, such as your driver’s license. If your condition doesn’t meet the Blue Book criteria, you can still be approved using a medical-vocational allowance and incorporating use of a residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC will clearly indicate all your restrictions and limitations as noted by your physician. For example, you cannot lift more than 10 pounds or walk more than 500 feet or stand more than one hour without resting.
Enlist The Help Of A Disability Lawyer
Social Security Disability claims can be challenging. With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to be approved for disability benefits. Disability lawyers will gather up supporting documentation and help you get your claim in order, so you can show your limitations and how COPD affects you. If your claim gets denied, your disability lawyer will file the appeal so there can be a reconsideration review. Your lawyer will ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge if necessary. You will not have to pay anything out of pocket because disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that your lawyer isn’t paid until you are awarded benefits and receive your back pay. Get your free case review today to determine how to proceed with your claim.