Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an enduring illness that makes it very challenging to breathe. The difficulty comes from damage to the breathing tubes and lungs, which obstruct the airflow - these are radical conditions that deteriorate over time. If you suffer from COPD and disability and this has made it unbearable to work, you might be qualified to receive Social Security benefits.
Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can qualify for disability benefits. However, you need to get proper medical evidence to support your claim that it’s not just a diagnosis. Sometimes financial difficulty can prevent people from obtaining medical treatment and creating a medical history during this process.
The COPD Disability Listing
To meet the criteria for COPD and disability, the applicant will need to meet the COPD disability listing. The SSA has a listing for several medical conditions that are shared online, and it's known as the "Blue Book.” The manual is used to determine if a particular disability makes you eligible for benefits.
Anyone that meets or closely meets a disability requirement is considered to be medically eligible, and their claim will be approved as long as you are not working enough to surpass the limit for SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity). It does matter if you meet the requirement, SSA will still deny your claim if you are earning enough income.
Medical Evidence Requirements
Ideally, the Social Security Administration wants to see medical evidence of having difficulty breathing, despite adhering to the required treatments. In the case these details are missing in your medical report, SSA can still approve your request if they are certain your breathing has been preventing you from working for a living or earning.
Blood tests and some other medical records can help support your claim that severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has affected your daily functioning. Plus, your doctor's notes from physical exams and appointments can also help you build a stronger claim. If you have spent time in the hospital or ER, the Social Security Administration will request these records as well.
Qualifying for Benefit Without Meeting the Criteria
If you don't meet the criteria but still unable to work, there is another way to get approved for benefits exploiting the medical-vocational allowance. A medical-vocational allowance observes the limitations the disability causes you, and if they find it to be valid, the SSA will approve your claim.
To do this, the SSA draws up your Residual Functioning Capacity (RFC) by evaluating your limitations, as well as work history and education. The agency will try to find works you are able to do with your experience. However, since physical activities aggravate lots of symptoms, SSA is more likely to approve your benefit if your work requires physically demanding jobs.
Get the Help of Your Doctor
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease listing is one of the most complex disabilities, and you may not understand it if you are not a medical professional. It involves a number of tables that evaluate your breathing capacity as well as your sex, weight, among other factors. With the help of your doctor, you can understand these tables better and likely meet the eligibility requirements.