Winning Strategies for Filing Bronchiectasis Social Security Disability Claims
People with bronchiectasis not only experience frequent trouble breathing, they tend to have repeated, serious bouts of issues like pneumonia, bronchitis, or even respiratory failure. If this sounds like you, there’s a good chance you’re having trouble handling the activities of daily living, much less successfully going to work and holding down a job.
The SSA understands how difficult living with this condition is, which is why they have included bronchiectasis in their Social Security Disability Listings of Impairments – a compendium of recognized debilitating medical issues with clear definitions and specific criteria you need to meet in order to get disability benefits.
What exactly should you do to get those benefits? Well, the first and most straightforward way is to find your specific issue in the Listings and show that you meet the criteria listed.
But what if you can’t?
Those who are unable to meet the criteria in the Listings are going to have a much tougher time getting the benefits they need, but with the right help it can be just as effective.
A knowledgeable Social Security disability attorney can show you how to use the Five Step Sequential Process to prove that you deserve benefits since your respiratory disorder is just as disabling as a condition defined in the Listings of Impairments. In other words, it is equivalent to a disorder the SSA already recognizes, so you should be eligible for benefits, too.
Proving your impairment is medically equal to the criteria of a listing is your second option. Meeting SSA’s Listing criteria for your specific condition is more straight-forward and should always be your first goal.
Bronchiectasis Social Security Disability: What Are the Criteria for Benefits?
Those trying to get benefits due to their bronchiectasis need to prove the following three things:
- Your bronchiectasis is documented by imaging
- You experience critical episodes or complications needing three hospitalizations within 12 consecutive months and a minimum of 30 days apart.
- Each hospitalization must last at least 48 hours, including hours in a hospital ER facility just prior to the hospitalization
To help your case, it’s a good idea to take one or more of the tests the SSA has deemed acceptable for this condition:
- Chest X-Ray
- Sputum Collection
- Computerized Tomographic Scanning of the Chest
- Pulse Oximetry
What if you’re not able to meet SSA’s listing criteria above?
Learn to Use the Five Step Process
The Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process isn’t something that you should use if you have a choice. It’s a lot easier and more straightforward to prove that you meet the SSA Listing already set forth than it is to convince them that the issue you’re suffering from – though different – is just as severe as one of their Listings.
That being said, if you can’t meet the criteria, it’s still quite possible to get bronchiectasis Social Security disability benefits by going through the Five Step Evaluation. The job of you and your chosen representative will be to find a way to prove that your disorder has kept you from being able to work for at least 12 months. Typically, this is a journey that’s longer and more complicated, but it can be done – as long as you have the right person in your corner.