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Disability For COPD

What Are the Benefits That You Can Get for COPD?

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is a lung disease that can cause difficulty in breathing. COPD can also cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing that results in a large amount of mucus, tightness in the chest, and various other symptoms that result in restricted breathing. 

One of the main causes of disability for COPD is smoking. Many COPD sufferers currently smoke or have a history of smoking. Other people have COPD as a result of extended exposure to lung irritants, such as dust, chemical vapors, or air pollution. 

When a person inhales air, the air enters the windpipe and then makes its way to the lungs. Inside the lungs, air goes into the smaller tubes, known as bronchi, and then into bronchioles, which are even smaller tubes. After the bronchioles, the inhaled air passes around small air sacs called alveoli and then to small blood vessels called capillaries. The oxygen present in the air passes through the alveoli and then into the capillaries. During this process, the body gets rid of carbon dioxide. Therefore, when a person exhales, they release carbon dioxide from the body.

People who have COPD often face difficulty breathing, as it permits less air to flow into and out from the lungs. This is caused by a loss of elasticity in the air sacs, damage to the walls between the air sacs, inflammation of the airways, or an increase in mucus that obstructs the air from passing. Because of the severe impact that COPD can have on an individual’s life, people who are suffering from disability for COPD should consider filing a disability claim if their condition prevents them from doing any kind of work.

Can You Get Disability Benefits for COPD?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), some of the disorders associated with chronic illness are legally considered to be disabilities. A person has rights under federal law to financial assistance benefits if a disability prevents them from engaging in any kind of work or performing their basic daily tasks. In most cases, COPD is considered a disability. According to the ADA, an illness can be considered a disability if any of the impairments is limiting the individual from engaging in any life activity or gainful employment. 

A condition is considered to be limiting when it prevents a person from performing any fundamental activity or when it is restricting a condition, duration, or manner that helps a person to perform any daily life activities. If you experience breathlessness or any other symptoms that are substantially limiting you from doing your job, then your employer may be required to make accommodations for you. This could help you to perform your work until you are able to seek disability benefits. 

Some of the most common types of reasonable accommodations include: 

  • Having a parking space that is close to the work site
  • Permission to use a motorized vehicle to access the work site
  • Permission to work from home
  • Maintaining a dust-free, smoke-free, and chemical-free workplace 
  • Providing advanced notice to an employee if any construction and cleaning will occur
  • Enabling the employee to work a flexible schedule that permits them to take necessary medications and attend required doctor’s appointments

When an individual faces any issue regarding their employer for any accommodations, they should consider seeking help from one of the experienced disability lawyers in their area who has handled similar cases in the past.

Does COPD Qualify for Disability?

Yes. In many cases, COPD qualifies for disability. Anyone who is suffering from COPD might require monetary resources to manage their condition. If a person has not been able to engage in any kind of work for 12 months, they may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if they have the necessary work credits for past employment. 

Some of the vital tests that can help a person who has been diagnosed with COPD prove the severity of their condition include arterial blood gas, pulse oximetry, ABG tests, spirometry results, pulmonary function tests, CT scans, and documents that indicate that the individual has a decreased flow of oxygen. Records of prior hospitalization can be helpful, as well.

A patient’s doctors can provide proof of the disability. In most cases, the Social Security Administration weighs most heavily the opinion provided by a medical expert or a specialist. This is why it is always recommended to seek guidance from a qualified pulmonologist who understands disabilities relating to COPD.

Disability Criteria for COPD

In some cases, it might be possible that a person is facing such severe COPD that the condition prevents them from successfully performing any work, despite all appropriate employer-provided accommodations. In such situations, a person can file a claim for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. To qualify for SSD assistance, an individual must fulfill the criteria set forth in the rules specified by the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Because filing an application for disability benefits can be a lengthy and complicated process, an individual should consider seeking guidance from a knowledgeable attorney. Contact a disability lawyer who can help to make the overall process easier and more convenient. Disability relating to COPD would need to have lasted for 12 months or more and prevent that person from earning more than $1,000 a month. If they can meet those criteria, they may be eligible to receive the disability benefits that they need.

Apart from this, there are other criteria also that are related to respiratory conditions, such as the types of medical treatments that a person is undergoing and how the person is responding to those treatments. An individual would need to apply directly to the SSA for their application for disability benefits to be considered, including all of the required documentation, records of medical treatment, and testing paperwork. 

The SSA may refer your case to another doctor to collect additional evidence that would support or refute your disability claim. The application process for getting Social Security disability benefits can be complex and comprehensive. It may take at least three to five months for the SSA to determine your eligibility. In most cases, a person who has been approved for assistance must undergo a five-month waiting period before they can collect Social Security disability benefits. The person can begin receiving the disability benefits beginning with the sixth month, as determined by the SSA.

SSI Disability for COPD

If a person has been denied SSD benefits in the first instance, then it can be a good idea to appeal the initial rejection. You should assemble the medical records that you would need to prove that your claim for COPD is valid. A lawyer can provide you with necessary assistance throughout the application process for getting SSI disability for COPD, as well as through the process of appealing a denial. A disability lawyer on your side can guide you and help you secure the disability benefits that you deserve.