The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of impairments that may qualify for disability benefits. The list is long and separated into categories. Lung disorders appear in section 3.00 – Respiratory Disorders – Adult. While not every cough or wheeze will make you eligible for disability benefits, you may need to apply for disability benefits if your lungs prevent you from working. It’s important to understand how the SSA views disabilities and lung disorders.
Three Types of Lung Conditions
The SSA evaluates three types of lung and respiratory disorder:
- Obstruction, when someone has trouble moving air out of their lungs;
- Restriction, when someone has trouble moving air into their lungs; and
- Diffusion interference, when someone’s lung are not processing air.
Specific Lung Disorders That May Qualify for Disability Benefits
Not all respiratory problems reach a level that satisfies the SSA’s definition of disability. However, some of the following conditions are noted on the list of impairments:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD);
- Pulmonary Fibrosis and pneumoconiosis;
- Cystic fibrosis; and
- Respiratory failure like chronic pulmonary hypertension and lung transplants.
Symptoms vary in type and degree. However, common signs of respiratory disorders include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, wheezing, and rapid breathing.
At what point will a lung condition qualify as a disability?
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
An individual with a medical condition must meet SSA guidelines and criteria to receive SSDI benefits. The SSA definition of disability requires the following:
- You have been disabled for at least one year or your condition will continue for at least a year or cause your death;
- You are not able to perform the work you previously performed because of your condition; and
- Your condition prevents you from training for another job.
Not all lung-related conditions will meet these requirements. For example, someone with asthma that is treatable may not be disabled as long as he or she can perform their usual duties.
It’s Complicated. We Can Help with Social Security Disability Benefits.
Do you have a lung disorder that prevents you from working? Then you may be eligible for disability benefits. The application process can be difficult, but help is available.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have assisted many clients with Social Security Disability Insurance cases. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.