Social Security Disability benefits for AsthmaOver 27 million Americans suffer from asthma. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that narrows a person’s airways and causes inflammation. This condition not only makes it difficult to breathe, but it can also leave a patient unable to work.

Fortunately, for most people with asthma, symptoms are relatively mild and can be controlled through lifestyle changes and at-home treatment. However, when the condition interferes with your daily activities and ability to work, asthma is considered a disability.

Causes and Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes, and during an attack airways swell and tighten, which makes breathing difficult. Mucus can also build up in the airways, restricting airflow even further.

The medical community does not know for certain what causes asthma. The predominant thought is that it’s probably some combination of genetics and environmental factors. Some people who experienced a severe respiratory infection in childhood are also more prone to developing asthma.

Allergies also seem to play a role, and working in an environment heavy with dust and fumes can certainly aggravate the condition.

As with many diseases, asthma symptoms can vary from person to person, but in general, they include:

  • Recurring coughing and wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pressure, tightness, or pain in the chest

Some individuals dealing with asthma have very mild symptoms but experience them almost daily. Others have more serious, even life-threatening asthma attacks. These may be followed by extended periods during which they have either mild symptoms or none at all.

Asthma and Social Security Disability Benefits

When does asthma qualify as a disability? Asthma is considered a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act and by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The question to ask is, does your particular case of asthma qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

If you’re able to control your asthma with at-home treatment while avoiding asthma triggers like pet dander and dust, the SSA will likely not look at your asthma as a disability. This is because if you’re still able to work, you will not qualify for benefits.

On the other hand, if your asthma attacks are critical, sometimes requiring hospitalization and causing you to miss significant amounts of work, the SSA will likely consider you disabled.

When filing for disability benefits, it’s important to provide a comprehensive overview of your condition. Your initial application should include your asthma diagnosis, attempts to treat your condition, and relevant information from your medical history.

Automatic Qualification for Disability Benefits

Asthma can be a life threatening condition. If you meet the medical criteria under the Blue Book’s Section 3.00 for asthma, the SSA will automatically approve your claim. However, you must also meet the SSA’s definition of disabled by meeting the following eligibility requirements:

  • Your medical condition is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death
  • Your medical condition prevents you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
  • Your medical condition is supported by medical evidence

The two requirements for automatic qualification for Social Security Disability with asthma are:

  • In the past year, you’ve had at least three asthma exacerbations or complications requiring hospitalization for at least 48 hours in each case. These hospitalizations must have been at least 30 days apart. They also must have included hours spent in a hospital emergency department immediately before the hospitalization.
  • Your lung function test, known as FEV1, must be low for your age, gender, and height, according to the SSA’s Blue Book listing 3.03. Results must be measured within the same 12-month period as the hospitalizations mentioned in point one.

Additionally, if you suffer from chronic asthmatic bronchitis, you may also qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.

Can You Get SSI for Asthma?

Yes, it is possible to receive SSI for severe asthma. However, SSI provides financial assistance to individuals who are disabled, blind, or aged with limited income and resources. Therefore, to qualify for SSI with asthma, you must meet the SSA’s definition of disabled and have limited income and resources.

Can You Get SSDI for Asthma?

Yes, you can receive SSDI for asthma if your condition meets the SSA’s definition of disabled. However, you must also meet the SSDI work history requirements to be eligible for the program.

Disability Benefits for Asthma: Job Restriction

If you do not qualify automatically for benefits, that doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible. You can still get disability for asthma without meeting a Blue Book listing in some cases. You simply must prove that your condition prevents you from working.

The SSA will request a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. This will determine what job-related tasks you’re able to do and not do with your present health condition. For example, your physician may find you’re not able to perform functions such as:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Working in extreme hot or cold conditions
  • Working around heavy dust and fumes

In response to these medical restrictions, the SSA will attempt to determine if there’s any other work you can do before granting benefits.

The SSA considers factors like age, education, and work experience when deciding if a claimant can or should be expected to learn new job skills. Therefore, if you’re over 50, you stand a better chance of qualifying for benefits because of ability restrictions.

Applying for Asthma Disability Benefits

If you’re asking, “Can I get disability for asthma?” the answer will depend on the severity of your condition. However, applying for disability can be a complicated and tedious process. In fact, most initial disability claims are denied. This is because people often make errors in the application process or fail to provide sufficient evidence.

Working with a disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of obtaining benefits. When you contact us at the Patrick J. Kelly Law Office, our experienced team is here for you. We will make sure your claim is filed correctly and on time. We’ll also gather crucial evidence to showcase the seriousness of your condition.

A Qualified California SSDI and SSI Disability Attorney

Are you ready to apply for asthma-related disability assistance from the SSA? Then contact the Patrick J. Kelly Law Office to schedule your free consultation.

Since 1976, attorney Patrick Kelly has helped countless individuals qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in the bay area. As your disability benefits attorney, he will explain the medical records needed to support your claim. He will also explain the claims process and help you work through any difficulties that stand in your way of securing benefits.

For legal assistance filing for Social Security Disability, you can rely on our law firm. We can help you submit your claim, file an appeal, and more.

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