You may not be aware that if you suffer from severe asthma, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from asthma, you know that your condition is no laughing matter. The disabling symptoms of asthma – such as suddenly finding yourself unable to breathe – make it difficult to live a normal life. This includes holding down a regular job. That’s why the Social Security Administration lists asthma as one of the conditions that can enable you to qualify for disability benefits.
Marc Whitehead & Associates have helped thousands of disabled workers obtain the Social Security disability benefits they need after an injury or severe medical condition has left them unable to go back to work.
There are two ways we can help you win a claim for asthma Social Security disability benefits:
- We use the Listings. The SSA has a guide called the Listings of Impairments, also known as the “Blue Book,” that compiles every single medical condition they consider a qualifying disability, as well as the specific criteria that you need to meet for each disorder in order to get benefits. If you can prove that your problem meets these requirements, you’ll automatically qualify.
- We show equivalency. For those who can’t meet the specific criteria in the Listings, there’s an alternative. It’s not as simple or straightforward, but you can still obtain benefits if you can show that your condition is equivalent in severity to what is included the Listings of Impairments. Since demonstrating equivalency is a lot more difficult than simply matching a listing, you will definitely want to attempt the Listings route first.
Criteria for Social Security Disability Benefits under Listing 3.03 – Respiratory Disorders
To pursue an asthma Social Security disability claim under the SSA Listing, your condition has to be associated with one of two other things: chronic respiratory disorders (in which case it is evaluated under the criteria in 3.02) or asthma attacks.
Under SSA Listing 3.03, your asthma condition must meet the following criteria to qualify as a disability:
- Your FEV1 (a measure of the volume of air you can exhale) is less than or equal to a specified value listed in the SSA’s charts for your age, gender and height without shoes;
- Exacerbations or complications requiring three hospitalizations within a 12-month period and at least 30 days apart (the 12-month period must occur within the period being considering in connection with your application or continuing disability review);
- Each hospitalization must last at least 48 hours, including hours in a hospital emergency area just prior to the hospitalization.
There are several different SSA-approved medical tests that will help prove that you meet these criteria, including:
- Arterial Blood Gas Study (Resting)
- Bronchial Challenge Test
- Exhaled Nitric Oxide
- Peak Expiratory Flow
- Pulse Oximetry
- Sputum Collection
Testing positive on one or more of these tests will go a long way towards proving to the SSA that you qualify for benefits.
But What If You Don’t Meet the Criteria for Asthma Social Security Disability?
If you don’t meet the Listings criteria for a disabling asthma condition, you can always attempt to prove equivalency. Even though it’s not as clear-cut as the other option, many people with asthma and similar respiratory ailments have successfully secured benefits by using what is called the Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process to show that their disabling condition is just as severe as something already included in the Listings.
The Five Steps in the Sequential Evaluation Test consists of six (step 2 is a two-parter) yes or no questions:
- Are you gainfully employed?
- Is your condition severe, rendering you unable to do basic? /Will your impairment last 12 months, or result in death?
- Does your condition satisfy all the medical criteria of an impairment defined in the SSA Listing of Impairments?
- Are you able to do the type of work you used to do?
- Are you able to perform any other generally available work?
Your answers will determine if you are qualified to receive SSA disability benefits.
In order to be successful in proving equivalency, you will be required to prove that your medical issue has kept you from being able to work for at least 12 calendar months. That’s not always an easy task, but an experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you submit the needed records and other evidence to make sure you have the best chance at success.
Get Help with Your Social Security Asthma Disability Claim
Marc Whitehead & Associates have helped disabled workers all over the U.S. obtain the Social Security disability benefits they need after an illness or severe injury has left them unable to work. If you need to make a claim for Social Security LTD benefits, or have had your claim denied, we urge you to reach out to our experienced Social Security attorneys to discuss your case.
You can learn even more about the Social Security disability claims process by downloading our free Social Security Disability eBook. Be sure to check back regularly for more information on how you can get the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve.