How To Get Disability For Your Respiratory Disorder
When you have trouble breathing, when your body cannot get enough oxygen, continuing to do your job and earn a living is very difficult, if not impossible. Simple everyday activities, such as walking, pushing a vacuum cleaner, or maintaining concentration become huge challenges.
Lung disease and breathing disorders come in many forms. Symptoms range from shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, to severe chest pain, and coughing up sputum or blood.
Yet disability claims for respiratory disorders are routinely challenged by the Social Security Administration , disability insurance companies, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It can be frustratingly hard to prove to these agencies that your respiratory impairment actually prevents you from working.
If you have been unfairly denied benefits, we have important information to share with you to help you succeed in getting the benefits you need.
If You Have Some Form Of Dementia It Is Likely You Have Poor Memory And Attention Skills And Are Unable To Perform Any Type Of Work
The Social Security Administration recognizes dementia as an impairment in two different sections of its Blue Book. Section 12. Mental Disorders evaluates dementia of the Alzheimer type, vascular dementia, and dementia due to a metabolic disease. Section 11. Neurological Disorders evaluates cases of early onset Alzheimers disease .
An Individual Regarded As Being Disabled
A person with COVID or who their employer believes has COVID 19 can be classified as disabled if that perception right or wrong causes them to lose their job and be unhirable due to an impairment.
How the ADA Addresses COVID 19 and Disability
The first thing to understand is that every case is unique and that similar cases may qualify as a disability while others do not.
Every case starts with an evaluation and gathering of data or documents.
The process is not straightforward and can be excessively complex. There are gray areas in almost every case.
If you believe you are disabled due to a COVID 19 infection and reside in California, call Davtyan Law Firm at at discuss the details of your condition. We are here to help you determine the best course of action for your unique situation.
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Meeting Social Security Administration Listing 302b For Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency
Part B involves evaluation of the results of spirometric testing of restrictive pulmonary disease. You will meet part B of the listing if you have chronic restrictive ventilatory disease due to any cause, with the FVC equal to or less than the values specified in Table II corresponding to your height without shoes. FVC stands for forced vital capacity. It is the amount of air you can exhale with force after you inhale as deeply as possible.
FVC is the most important measurement for restrictive lung disease and it decreases in proportion to the severity of the lung disease. The FEV1used to determine severity in COPD may be normal in restrictive lung diseases.
In reality, gender affects normal values but that is not taken into account. Women have somewhat lower normal predicted values for a given height than men, so failure of the table to make a distinction is to the advantage of women.
If your height measured in inches falls between the whole number values in the respective tables, it should be rounded off to the nearest inch by whole number. If the fraction is precisely one-half inch, the height measured should be rounded off to the next highest whole number. The importance of the above rounding policy cannot be over-stated. This is a perfect example of how attention to detail can make the difference between allowance and denial of benefits, since FVC values are exactly specified.
Blue Book Listing : Respiratory Failure
If you suffer from a chronic respiratory disorder other than Cystic Fibrosis , then you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you require:
- Invasive mechanical ventilation
- Combination of both invasive mechanical ventilation and noninvasive ventilation with BiPAP
These treatments must be provided:
- Continuously for at least 48 hours or continuously for 72 hours if postoperatively
- At least twice within 12 months
- At least 30 days apart
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Qualifying Vocationally: Getting Benefits If You Don’t Meet The Medical Listing
Since ataxias are progressive in nature, you might be at a stage where your limitations aren’t yet severe enough to meet the requirements of the above listing. Still, your symptoms might be serious enough to prevent you from working any longer. In this case, Social Security can still find you disabled “vocationally” if the agency concludes that there are no jobs available that you can perform.
To figure out if you can work any jobs, Social Security will be interested in the ways that your symptoms interfere with your activities of daily living . Social Security asks about your ADLs because it makes sense that something you have difficulty doing at home would be something you would struggle with at work.
For example, if you feel shortness of breath after walking to the mailbox and back, it makes sense that you’d struggle to do a job where you’d have to walk around all day. Or if you fumble with zippers and buttons while getting dressed, you probably wouldn’t do well at a job where you had to handle small objects like screws.
You aren’t expected to do a job that’s beyond your capabilities, mentally or physically. The process Social Security uses to figure out what you can and can’t do in a work setting is called assessing your “residual functional capacity” . Your RFC is a list of the most intensive work you can do despite your limitations.
For example, an RFC for someone with ataxia might include the following:
Removal Of Lung Tissue
Removal of lung tissue can also limit the RFC. The most frequent type of pulmonary resection is a lobectomy associated with surgery for lung cancer. Sometimes, a pneumonectomy involving the removal of an entire right or left lung is performed.
In otherwise healthy lungs, a lobectomy usually results in an exertional restriction to medium work when the results of spirometry are evaluated. In cases of pneumonectomy, an RFC is always required, and even with a healthy remaining lung is usually no higher than light work.
As with other pulmonary impairments, environmental restrictions from exposure to excessive dust and fumes would be indicated on the RFC.
The fact that a treating surgeon may say something in his or her medical notes like, The patient has fully recovered from surgery and has no difficulty breathing, does not mean that spirometry does not have to be performed. When significant amounts of lung tissue are removed, there will be some degree of pulmonary limitation.
Figure 5: Smokers lung.
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What Are Lung Function Tests
The most important information the SSA needs when evaluating your claim for disability based on your lung disease are the results of x-rays, physical exams, and spirometry tests that show the extent of your lung disease. Without this information, the SSA will likely not accept the results of any other tests performed to prove that your respiratory disorder is disabling.
The SSA has specific requirements for the medical tests used to evaluate your respiratory disorder. One lung function test is a spirometry test, which measures your “forced expiratory volume,” or the amount of air you can breathe out. Although you may have undergone a spirometry test to evaluate your lung capacity, the SSA will likely send you to a doctor they have hired to re-administer the test. This is because the standards set by the SSA are high when considering the validity of spirometry exams. Also, the SSA will not consider outcomes of arterial blood gas tests or spirometry tests that were performed while you were acutely ill with diseases like pneumonia.
It is important that you put forth your best effort when undergoing a spirometry test, because the SSA doctor giving you the test will make a notation if he or she believes you have not. If the SSA orders its own spirometry test, it will take longer to decide your claim.
The Wide Range Of Medical Conditions That Are Classified As Blood Disorders And The Specific Medical Evidence Required For Each One Can Make Filing For Disability Benefits Very Complicated
A qualified disability attorney can help you evaluate your eligibility, gather medical and financial documentation, and guide you through the filing process.
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you are not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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How To Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
On the one hand, the Social Security Administrations standards for total disability are fairly constant regardless of what kind of disability you have.
Namely, to qualify for total, long-term disability and Social Security Disability benefits, you must be deemed incapable of performing any work which you have performed before incapable of adjusting to any other kind of work which is available to people of your education level and suffering from a disability which is expected to last more than a year or end in your death and meet the Blue Book listing.
Respiratory problems may qualify for Social Security disability benefits as they fall under the same broad guidelines as any other potential disability.
On the other hand, respiratory diseases often take considerably longer to establish as total disability than other disabling problems. Generally speaking, you will need to document your respiratory problems and how they have affected your ability to work for at least a year.
Ideally, you should do this with your doctors help. To qualify for Social Security Disability, in most cases, you will need to be under a physicians care and demonstrate that you are still incapable of performing meaningful work after you have followed your doctors instructions regarding your respiratory problems for at least a year.
What Does The Ssa Consider When Reviewing Claims For Lung Disease
The SSA will consider your respiratory disorder symptoms, such as whether you suffer from shortness of breath, whether your lungs function normally, whether you suffer from chest pain, or whether you experience bloody sputum when you cough.
However, symptoms alone will not result in an approval for disability. For example, although shortness of breath is a common condition in patients who suffer from respiratory disorders, it can also be caused by being out of shape or by other medical issues. Also, even if you suffer from shortness of breath, as long as your lung capacity is at least 80%, your lung function is considered normal.
Therefore, it is imperative that you provide the SSA with your longitudinal medical record dating back to when your respiratory disorder first prevented you from working, that details the symptoms of your respiratory disorder and the results of all lung function tests.
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A Blood Disorder Can Be Seriously Disabling The Social Security Administration Has Listings For Many Of These Blood Disorders In Its Blue Book Setting Out The Requirements For Qualifying For Disability Benefits For Each Condition
Other Requirements For Disability Benefits
Not only will you need to medically qualify for disability benefits, you will need to meet other qualifications. For those applying for Supplemental Security Income , you will need to be within specific income limits. Those that are unmarried will need to have less than $2,000 in assets while those that are married will needed less than $3,000 in assets.
If you are applying for Social Security Disability Income , you will need to have obtained enough work credits. These are earned by working and paying into Social Security. Though the number of credits changes depending on your age, typically if you have worked five of the last ten years you will have enough work credits.
Specific Lung Disorders That May Qualify For Disability Benefits
Not all respiratory problems reach a level that satisfies the SSAs definition of disability. However, some of the following conditions are noted on the list of impairments:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- 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?
Contact An Experienced North Carolina Ssd Benefits Lawyer
The SSA maintains a list of impairments that are considered so severe that they automatically qualify one for disability benefits as long as all other requirements are met. These conditions are found in the SSAs Blue Book, which describes the medical evidence that is needed to prove the impairment.
You can also be declared disabled if you have a condition that is considered to be equal in severity to a listed impairment.
Even if you dont have a listed impairment or one considered equal in severity to a listed one, you may still be deemed to be disabled if you can show that your medical condition keeps you from working or doing any other type of work.
Allow Hardison & Cochran to put its skill and experience to work for you in seeking disability benefits. In particular, we can help you to gather the medical evidence you need to show you are disabled.
Contact us today and receive a free and immediate review of your case.
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As Mentioned Earlier Dementia Is Not Part Of The Normal Aging Process And Several Factors Can Contribute To Its Development
- Degenerative neurological diseases such as Parkinsons, Huntingtons disease and some forms of multiple sclerosis.
- Vascular disorders that affect blood circulation in the brain.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Infections of the nervous system such as meningitis or HIV.
- A long history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Certain forms of hydrocephalus .
What Is Ischemic Heart Disease
Coronaryartery disease is often referred to as ischemic heart disease this is how the Social Security Administration refers to the condition. Ischemicheart disease can be caused by ischemic cardiomyopathy, but it can also be caused conditions unrelated to coronary artery disease: narrowed heart valves and vasospasm.
The mainsymptom of coronary or ischemic heart disease is chest pain, called anginapectoris. This is discomfort in the chest described as aching, dull, squeezing,or tight. It is brought on by physical exertion or intense emotion, and onlylasts three to five minutes . Othersymptoms of ischemicheart disease are shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heartbeats, fatigue, and weakness,especially with exercise.
Risk factors for coronary artery disease and ischemic heartdisease include diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and lung disease fromsmoking. Coronary artery disease is one of the leading causes of death in theUnited States.
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What Is Syncope And Is It Eligible For Disability
If you suffer from neurocardiogenic syncope , which is brief and free of any after effects, at 6294), A fall from vasovagal syncope must include an injury to qualify for compensation, When a cardiomyopathy causes severe heart failure , As well as this, 2020, patients may qualify for Social Security disability benefits under listing 4.02., 2005, Hiring a Disability Lawyer If you do not have the medical evidence to prove that your tachycardia meets or exceeds a listing you may benefit from the help of a disability lawyer.
There Are Three Types Of Vascular Dementia:
- Subcortical dementia. The most common form of vascular dementia. The smallest blood vessels in the brain become twisted and stiff, restricting blood flow. This is also called small vessel disease.
- Post-stroke dementia. This type occurs after an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.
- Single-infarct and multi-infarct dementia. The individual experiences a series of small strokes instead of one severe stroke.
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Disorders Of The Musculoskeletal System
- Severe joint dysfunction caused by arthritis, osteoarthritis, bone cancer, etc.
- Reconstructive joint surgery/joint replacement of any weight-bearing joint
- Spine disorders
- Fractures of the pelvis, tibia, femur or tarsal bones
- Severe soft tissue injuries
To qualify for SSDI for a musculoskeletal disorder, the SSA must find extreme limitations regarding your ability to walk, use your arms or move without pain.
In Addition To Complete Medical Records Social Security Will Want To See Proof Of The Severity Of The Particular Blood Disorder You Suffer From
Depending on the disorder, you may need to provide results of blood counts or documentation of blood transfusions or bone marrow transplants. For example, if you have sickle cell anemia, you need to have had three or more crises within five months or three crises requiring hospitalization in the past year if you have chronic anemia, you need to show that you need a blood transfusion at least once every other month.
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