We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Is Cystic Fibrosis a Disability?

Yes, it is possible to receive disability benefits for cystic fibrosis in certain circumstances. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits to individuals who cannot work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year. 

To qualify for disability benefits due to cystic fibrosis, a person must meet the criteria outlined in the SSA’s Blue Book listing for Respiratory System Disorders under section 3.04. This includes having chronic pulmonary insufficiency with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) value that is less than or equal to the minimum value specified for the individual’s age, gender, and height. FEV1 is used to assess lung function.

Along with meeting the medical criteria, a person must also have a work history that meets the SSA’s requirements for disability benefits when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which includes having earned sufficient work credits and the inability to earn a livable wage due to their medical condition.

Individuals with cystic fibrosis may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is similar to SSDI in providing financial support, but SSI doesn’t require a work history. Regardless of which program you are eligible for, the SSDI and SSI programs require that you are unable to work because due to cystic fibrosis.

What is the Cause of Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, digestive system, and other organs, causing the production of thick, sticky mucus that can lead to infections and other health problems. It is caused by a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, which provides instructions for making a protein that regulates the movement of salt and water in and out of cells in the body. 

Cystic fibrosis is an autosomal recessive disorder, meaning a person must inherit two copies of the mutated CFTR gene to develop the condition. If a person inherits only one copy of the mutated gene, they are considered carriers of the condition but do not typically experience symptoms.

Some other causes of cystic fibrosis may include exposure to cigarette smoke, pollution, and other environmental toxins, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. Cystic fibrosis disability can also cause other potentially disabling conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Cystic Fibrosis Disability

What Are the Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis?

Those with cystic fibrosis disability may experience a range of severe and debilitating symptoms. Some of the common signs and symptoms of the disease include:

  • Persistent coughing: Due to the accumulation of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs, individuals with Cystic fibrosis may experience a persistent cough, which may be productive of thick sputum.
  • Recurrent lung infections: The thick mucus in the lungs can create an environment conducive to bacterial growth, leading to frequent lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
  • Shortness of breath: As the lungs become increasingly damaged, individuals with cystic fibrosis may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, particularly during physical activity.
  • Wheezing: The narrowing of the airways due to inflammation and mucus build-up can cause wheezing, a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing.
  • Poor growth: Cystic fibrosis can also affect the digestive system, making it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from food. This can result in poor growth, delayed puberty, and low body weight.
  • Fatigue: Chronic coughing, difficulty breathing, and poor absorption of nutrients can lead to fatigue and weakness.
  • Salty skin: A hallmark sign of Cystic fibrosis is excessively salty sweat, which may be noticed by kissing a child or tasting one’s own skin.

The Application Process for Cystic Fibrosis Disability

To apply for disability benefits due to cystic fibrosis, it’s important to carefully follow the application process outlined by the SSA. Some of the steps are as follows:

  • Gather necessary documents: You must provide the SSA with various documents, including medical records, work history, and other relevant information. Gathering these documents ahead of time can help speed up the application process.
  • Submit the application: You can apply for cystic fibrosis disability benefits online by visiting the SSA’s website, calling the agency at 1-800-772-1213, or visiting one of their local offices. Whichever way you decide to apply, it’s important to follow the SSA’s instructions carefully and provide thorough documentation. 
  • Medical evaluation: After you submit your application, the SSA will review your medical records and may request additional information or medical evaluations to determine the severity of your condition.

Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Options

Cystic fibrosis is a chronic and progressive condition with no known cure. However, there are a variety of treatments available that can help manage symptoms, slow disease progression, and improve quality of life. 

  • Airway clearance techniques: To help clear the thick, sticky mucus from the airways, individuals with cystic fibrosis may use various airway clearance techniques, such as chest physiotherapy, percussion and vibration therapy, and positive expiratory pressure therapy.
  • Medications: Several medications can help manage cystic fibrosis symptoms and prevent complications. 
  • Nutritional support: Cystic fibrosis can affect the digestive system and make it difficult to absorb nutrients from food. Individuals with cystic fibrosis may require nutritional support, such as pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy and high-calorie diets.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help improve lung function and overall health in individuals with cystic fibrosis. 
  • Lung transplant: In some cases, a lung transplant may be recommended for individuals with advanced cystic fibrosis experiencing severe respiratory symptoms and complications.

It is often necessary to provide documentation about your treatment history when applying for Social Security disability benefits. If you have severe cystic fibrosis, reports from doctors about the impact of the disease on your daily activities and ability to work can be particularly important.

Disability Benefits Denied? Contact Our Disability Law Firm

Your initial application may get denied due to a variety of reasons. In such cases, you may want to seek legal help from the experienced Disability Lawyers in Philadelphia who can help you appeal the denial and gather the necessary evidence to support your case.

If you’re struggling with a disabling condition and need help with Social Security disability benefits, get in touch with Chermol & Fishman, LLC for a free case consultation by calling 215-464-7200.

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