Why Use A Disability Attorney
A disability lawyer will help you gather the supporting documentation that your claim needs to be approved. Your attorney will also review all your medical records and make sure that your records have the detailed information that will let the SSA review the severity of your case and determine how you are affected by your medical problems.
With the help of a disability attorney, your chances of having your claim approved and being awarded benefits increase. Disability attorneys have undergone extensive training and stay current on the SSA laws and when changes are made. When you enlist the help of a disability lawyer, you will not pay anything out of pocket because your lawyer will not be paid until your claim has been approved and you are awarded back pay.
The SSA has set the regulations that determine how much an attorney can be paid for a disability claim. A lawyer will not receive more than 25 percent of your back pay and their payment cannot exceed $6,000. You can enlist the help of an attorney at any point during the disability claims process.
Getting Ssdi For Emphysema
Dealing with a life-altering medical condition and financial uncertainty makes it difficult to navigate the complex process required to apply for SSDI benefits. Many SSDI candidates are confused and intimidated by the language and the amount of documentation that must accompany the application. In addition to your work history and proof of citizenship, you must provide documents that confirm your diagnosis and the treatments used to improve your condition. The SSA will compare your gross monthly earnings history to your current monthly earnings to determine whether emphysema has negatively affected your ability to work. The agency will also evaluate your application to verify whether your condition prevents you from participating in substantial gainful activity.
SSDI benefits can help you support your loved ones. Your application should also include information regarding family members who rely on your financial assistance, such as your spouse, minor children and parents. Children disabled before age 22 and secondary school students who are 18 to 19 years old should also be included on your application.
Common Respiratory Disorders That May Cause Disability
COPD is an umbrella term that includes several lung diseases, including emphysema, bronchitis, and sometimes asthma, which cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Those with COPD exhibit reduced breathing capacity due to obstructed airflow into and out of the lungs. The most common cause of COPD is smoking, and quitting smoking will usually stabilize symptoms, if not always improve them.
COPD is typically diagnosed through spirometry, a pulmonary function test that measures the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled over a certain period. Asthma can be partly diagnosed by a pre-bronchodilator and post-bronchodilator spirometry test, but a doctor must also look at the patient’s medical history and physical exam.
Many of those diagnosed with COPD also suffer from sleep apnea, a condition which not only impacts the ability to obtain meaningful rest but can also severely impair daytime functioning. Sleep apnea is diagnosed based on a combination of self-reported symptoms and objective testing, typically a sleep study. The most common therapy is a CPAP machine, which pumps a steady stream of air into a mask to keep the airways unobstructed during sleep.
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When Is It Possible To Qualify For Disability With Emphysema
To obtain financial support, you must meet the Social Security Administrations listing requirements for chronic pulmonary insufficiency or you must show why your emphysema would prevent you from working on a regular and continuing basis. As this condition progresses, it is more likely that a person will qualify for SSI or SSDI, since there is no cure for the condition. Qualifications typically fall under the 3.00 Respiratory Disorders Adult listing criteria.
Often, this starts with severe symptoms such as:
· Shortness of breath progressing to extreme shortness of breath
· Respiratory infections
Some people may be approved for SSI with chronic pulmonary insufficiency automatically if they meet the requirements. This will depend on doctors restrictions and a persons ability to work. Most often, automatic approval occurs when a person has chest x-rays or other imaging testing that shows the presence of advanced disease. Even if one does not meet the listing, it may be possible to get approved based on the inability to work on a regular and continuing bases. SSA looks at all your conditions, so if an applicant has other conditions in addition to emphysema, they still may qualify.
What Is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD is a group of lung diseases that block your airflow. The leading causes of COPD include:
Your symptoms should be confirmed by spirometry, arterial blood gas testing and chest x-rays. A Functional Capacity Evaluation also can provide objective evidence of how COPD affects your ability to perform physical tasks.
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If You Have Asthma And It Has Impacted Your Ability To Hold A Full
Because of Social Securitys strict requirements, filing for disability benefits under an asthma diagnosis may be too complex to go it alone. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help evaluate your case and guide you through the process, increasing your chances for a successful claim.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.
The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
Respiratory Disease Patients And Ssd Eligibility
If you have any of the following respiratory diseases, or other chronic inflammatory lung or obstructive lung diseases, you may qualify for SSD benefits:
- Pulmonary embolism
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Acute Respiratory Disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
Remember, the Social Security Administration has certain guidelines for determining whether or not a person is “disabled.” Millions of Americans have a type of lung disease, but SSD benefits are only available to those whose conditions are truly severe.
To be eligible for SSD benefits, your respiratory disease must:
- Prevent you from working full-time
- Have lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one year
- Be life-threatening
If you fit one of more of these descriptions, you may qualify for SSD benefits.
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Two: Get Test Results Confirming The Severity Of Your Condition
While some people with COPD experience crippling side effects, others continue to function rather normally and may not even know they have it. This means, when applying for benefits, it is important to provide the SSA with as much physical evidence as possible to show that your COPD prevents you from living your normal life.
The best types of evidence you can provide for COPD are spirometry tests , DLCO tests , oxygen saturation tests, and imaging scans of the lungs. If your results show a severe obstruction of your breathing in relation to your age, weight and height, you may qualify for disability via the Blue Book, the SSAs disability guidebook.
If your diagnosis doesnt fit the Blue Book, this doesnt mean you are disqualified from receiving benefits you can still get your application approved by providing enough supporting evidence.
Do I Qualify For Copd Disability Benefits
Not everyone afflicted with COPD qualifies for SSD benefits. The Social Security Administration evaluates select criteria when considering SSD applications for approval. Contacting an experienced disability attorney early on in the process, or before the application is submitted, can help ensure that your application is complete and thorough which could increase your chances of approval and expedite the process.
One way to qualify for disability benefits is by meeting SSAs criteria at Step 3 of the sequential evaluation process which looks at the Blue Book of designated Listings that qualify your impairments as so severe that it would merit an award of disability benefits. Your COPD must meet the specific medical criteria related to age, gender, and height, as outlined in the SSAs Blue Book to qualify. In consideration of these requirements, you will be required to submit results from one of four tests confirming the severity of your COPD:
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability is an insurance program paid by your FICA taxes.
All working Americans contribute 7.65 percent from every paycheck to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes.
Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, FICA taxes total 15.3 percent of your earned income. A total of 12.4 percent of your earned income is paid into Social Security, an additional 2.9 percent of your earned income is paid into Medicare. If you are an employee, you pay only half the FICA taxes , your employer pays;in;the other 7.65 percent. People who are self-employed pay in the entire 15.3 percent).
Some of that payment goes toward disability insurance coverage by the Social Security Administration. However, bureaucratic problems plaguing Social Security Administration’s Disability Insurance program often prevent;the fair;and speedy distribution of disability benefits to people who are eligible.
What If My Copd Claim For Social Security Disability Benefits Is Denied
Your Social Security Disability attorney can appeal your case, including at the Request for Reconsideration level or before an administrative law judge, if your claim is denied.; Some firms, like Disability Law Group, specialize in claims beyond the administrative hearing level, to include appeals before the Appeals Council and US District Court level.; In preparation for an appeal, your attorney will prepare you for testimony and brief or legal memorandum, and and present additional arguments and evidence proving your inability to work:
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Meeting The Copd Blue Book Listing Requirements For Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration will evaluate your COPD against the requirements in their Blue Book of medical conditions. COPD requirements are found in Section 3.02 of the Blue Book. If your medical condition matches this section of the blue Book, you will automatically be approved for benefits.
The Blue Book COPD Requirements for Social Security Disability are:
- a forced expiratory volume one that is equal to or lower to the minimum for your height, between 1.05 for those who are five feet and 1.65 or those who are six feet;
- a gas diffusion capacity of a single breath under 10.5 mil/min/mm Hg or a low amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood either during rest or exercise, as determined a low partial pressure of oxygen and high partial pressure of carbon dioxide .
Emphysema Test #: Spirometry
This test measures how well you can move air both into and out of your lungs. The test requires you to complete three forced expiratory maneuvers in a row. That means youll breathe in as deeply as possible, then force out as much air back out as you can. The volume of air your lungs exhale during that very first second is called FEV1 . After three tries, the SSA uses your highest FEV1 reading to evaluate you.
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Why Should You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
Why should I apply for Social Security disability benefits if my employer or insurance company is already paying benefits?
Those who do not know the answer to that question are shortchanging themselves. And so are employers who do not realize the lack of Social Security qualification is costing them a larger share of their;employees;disability benefits than necessary.
Having Multiple Medical Problems
The vast majority of patients with COPD have other serious medical problems as well. Many people with COPD suffer from coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and/or obesity, as well as mental issues such as depression. When you have multiple medical conditions that affect your ability to work, you have a better chance of getting benefits. For more information, see our article on combining medical impairments to get disability and how moderate depression or anxiety affects your disability claim.
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Disability Benefits For Veterans
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you’re on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.
You may get social assistance payments from:
- your province or territory
- your First Nation
These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.
You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:
- medical aids or devices
What Is Residual Functional Capacity
Residual functional capacity measures how much your condition hinders your ability to work. The SSA will first look at how your condition hinders your ability to do your current or most recent job. Next, they will look at how your condition affects your ability to do any job. If your condition prevents you from working a job that you might qualify for, you may be approved for benefits.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Copd
When suffering from COPD, the Mayo clinic reports that a person may experience the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of energy
- Unintentional weight loss
These COPD symptoms may be severe, making it difficult or impossible to carry out activities of daily living, including working. COPD sufferers may need to pursue disability benefits.
Qualifying For Social Security Disability Without Meeting A Medical Listing
Keep in mind that even you dont meet the Blue Book listing for COPD, there is another way to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits if your conditions is severe enough. If you can prove that your COPD causes you to be unable to earn a minimum monthly income, you can still be approved for a medical-vocational allowance.
The Social Security Administration will figure out your Residual Functioning Capacity by looking at your limitations, as well as your education and work history.;Your RFC will take into consideration the type of work you know how to do, and if the physical activity of the work exacerbates your symptoms.
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Tips For Winning Your Disability Claim
Like we mentioned earlier, the amount that you will earn from Social Security benefits is pretty set in stone, so your focus should be on winning your case rather than earning as much as possible. Unfortunately, the burden of proving that your COPD is severe enough for benefits is largely in your hands. This is why youll need to be accurate and concise about the way you apply for benefits. The turnaround time for an SSDI application is several months at best, so you should be prepared to submit a thorough application the first time around rather than having to risk waiting for them to process your application a second time. Follow the tips below to get you started.;
One: Determine How Much Your Copd Limits You
The Social Security Administration handles thousands of disability applications a year. For your application to be approved, it is important to show that your disability is severe enough to require continued monthly financial support. To do this, you must first analyze all the ways your COPD affects your daily life.
For instance, most people with moderate to severe COPD experience shortness of breath and coughing. This may make it difficult to walk any distance or lift objects reliably, which would make working any physical job difficult. This could also make it difficult to clean the home, cook, or even walk to the bathroom, which would further explain your need for assistance.
If the lasting symptoms of your stroke make working life and daily life painful or more difficult, Social Security is more likely to approve you for benefits.
Social Security Disability Benefits And Arthritis
Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability. How does a person suffering from arthritis qualify for Social Security disability benefits? According to Jim Allsup, the Social Security Administration uses a process called sequential evaluation to determine who will receive disability benefits. Mr. Allsup is president and CEO of Allsup Inc. Since 1984, Allsup claims his company has:
- Successfully helped over 300,000 people nationwide receive their entitled disability benefits.
- Achieved a 90% award rate.
Patients who have been helped by Allsup often suffer from rheumatic conditions and musculoskeletal diseases such as:
Qualifying Under Reduced Capacity For Work
As stated above, you may also qualify for disability if your COPD is shown to have reduced your capacity for work, even if your test results do not meet the established disability standard. The SSA will investigate your Residual Functioning Capacity. It is important to note that for you to qualify under these circumstances you must be able to demonstrate that your COPD keeps you from getting any type of work, or any work considering your age, current level of experience and without the need for additional training.
If your COPD is keeping you from working, it is recommended that you apply for disability from the SSA. The process of applying for SSDI or SSI can be quite taxing both mentally and physically, especially if you are struggling with getting a job and supporting yourself or your family. Having an experienced professional guiding you along the way can help save you the headache involved and get you the assistance you deserve.
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