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Social Security Disability for Emphysema

Is Emphysema a Disability?

People who live with a disability often find that they are unable to engage in activities that they may have once enjoyed. In addition to the loss of quality of life, the limitations of disability may make it impossible for a person to do daily chores.

When a person is unable to work due to a disability, the resulting financial strain caused by a loss of income contributes to overwhelming stress. Fortunately, Social Security Disability Benefits for Emphysema are available to qualified individuals.

Disability for Emphysema

SSDI benefits are paid to people who have contributed to the program through tax payments as part of a prior work history. Paycheck deductions are used to fund the program and the federal government manages the remitted funds to ensure that qualifying disabled people receive financial assistance when they are in need.

To qualify, an applicant must have contributed to the program by working for a minimum number of years. This will also depend on the applicant’s age. Work history must be recent, and a person must have worked a minimum of five of the past 10 years.

The Social Security Administration lists qualifying impairments in its Blue Book. The conditions listed in the Blue Book are eligible for disability benefits. Contact our office to learn more about the disability application process and how you can receive benefits if you are suffering from a disabling medical condition.

Does Emphysema Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Emphysema is a progressive disease that causes permanent damage to the air sacs found in the lungs. As the condition progresses, people will have a harder time breathing. Emphysema and other progressive respiratory illnesses are collectively referred to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

When a person suffers from emphysema, the lungs’ tiny air sacs become more and more damaged. Eventually, these air sacs will rupture. When the tiny sacs rupture, larger sacs remain in their place. Emphysema reduces the amount of oxygen able to be absorbed into the bloodstream because there is a smaller surface area over which oxygen can travel in the larger sacs.

Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema. When a person has this condition, shortness of breath is the most noticeable symptom. Eventually, emphysema will cause additional complications, like an inability to exert sufficient energy to climb stairs, becoming blue in the face or around the nails, and loss of cognitive functionality.

Emphysema is not a reversible disease, but there are treatment options available. These options include inhalers, antibiotics, and weight loss. In later stages, supplemental oxygen may become necessary. Doctors may also use surgical intervention to decrease lung size for efficiency or to replace the lunch with a healthy transplant.

It is often difficult for individuals suffering from emphysema to continue living normal lives. It may affect their ability to perform workplace functions. One should consider applying for disability for emphysema if the symptoms are so severe that they prevent you from working. If the condition is hindering your abilities to perform daily activities and working capabilities, you must consider applying for social security disability.

Can I Get Disability Benefits for Emphysema?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists COPD as a recognized disability. For a person to qualify for benefits with emphysema, the applicant must prove long-term disability. You should have documents that demonstrate that the disability’s symptoms have persisted for a year or more. You must prove that it has progressed to the point at which shortness of breath is severe enough to make working impossible.

Medical records will be used by the SSA to determine whether a person is eligible for benefits. For this reason, every applicant needs to seek regular treatment from a licensed medical professional. Information about the date of diagnosis and results of tests related to lung function must be submitted.

Symptoms, Causes and Other Details About Emphysema

It is very important to know what the prominent symptoms of emphysema are. Seeking medical treatment for any symptoms of emphysema will not only help us to maintain our health, but creates a record of the condition over time. It is better to have medical records documenting when emphysema symptoms began. It can increase the chances of being approved to receive disability for emphysema.

Here are some of the common symptoms of emphysema:

  • Shortness of breath to such an extent that you can’t even climb stairs
  • Prominent reduction in mental alertness
  • Lips or fingernails are blue or grey with exertion

Causes of Emphysema

  • Air pollution
  • Chemical fumes and dust
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Marijuana smoke

Emphysema can also contribute to several other issues like a collapsed lung (pneumothorax), heart issues, large holes in the lungs (bullae), etc.

Getting Help From an Attorney for Emphysema Disability

Navigating the SSDI benefits application process is difficult and overwhelming to do alone, especially for disabled individuals who should be focused on finding a way to manage their symptoms. These folks must get regular treatment to reduce pain and discomfort, as well as to reduce the risk of developing further complications.

Nearly 70 percent of first-time applications are denied, and it is difficult to appeal a decision made by the SSA. Denials are often caused by errors made on the part of the applicant. An SSDI attorney has the skill, experience, and knowledge needed to guide applicants through the process.

Hiring a legal professional takes much of the weight off of the shoulders of the applicant. To get started on the path to a smoother SSDI application process, consult with a lawyer. Speak to our lawyers if you are considering applying for emphysema disability. Our team of attorneys will help you get the disability claim approved.


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About the author 

david chermol

Mr. Chermol is a Founding and Lead Partner at the disability law firm of Chermol & Fishman, LLC. He represents Social Security disability and SSI claimants across the United States both at the administrative level and in federal court

From 1997 until 2007, Mr. Chermol was as an Assistant Regional Counsel for the Social Security Administration’s Office of the General Counsel in Philadelphia.

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