If you suffer from chronic asthma or asthmatic bronchitis and have attacks despite the treatment prescribed for your condition, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability.
You will find asthma listed in the Blue Book under Respiratory System impairments. However, to become eligible for SSD, you must meet certain criteria.
About asthma and bronchitis
The air you breathe flows into your lungs through bronchial tubes, or air passages, that must remain open. Should passages become inflamed or swollen, you may experience asthma characterized by shortness of breath, tightness in the chest area, coughing or wheezing. Bronchitis occurs when the lining of the airways becomes inflamed, and asthmatic bronchitis is a condition that you will find included in the Blue Book under chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
Eligibility for SSD
If you have chronic asthma, your condition must limit your ability to perform basic activities connected with your employment:
- Walking, standing, lifting, pushing, carrying
- Speaking, hearing, seeing
- Understanding and carrying out simple instructions
- Responding to requests or instructions from supervisors and co-workers
- Managing changes in your work environment
To qualify for disability benefits, you must also earn no more than $1,170 per month as an employee.
Evidence to support SSD claims
Prepare to submit all medical records pertaining to your asthma or asthmatic bronchitis or expect denial of your claim. Keep records of asthma attacks and the treatment that followed. You should include documentation concerning any episodes that resulted in hospitalization or emergency room treatment. Provide information as to how you currently respond to treatment; for example, how often you have experienced attacks despite the medications prescribed for you. Keep in mind that the Social Security Administration may require medical records that go back at least one year. Know, too, that it is not unusual for the SSA to deny your initial claim. To avoid this, ensure that your Social Security Disability benefits application is as close to perfect as possible.