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Respiratory System Conditions

Chicago Attorneys for SSDI Claims

Respiratory system conditions can be disabling. Disorders that make it difficult to breathe include bronchitis, asthma, COPD, emphysema, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. If you suffer from a disabling respiratory system condition, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In assessing the level of assistance you may be eligible for, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will examine how often you have episodes that need medical care. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our seasoned Chicago Social Security lawyers may be able to represent you in your claim for benefits.

Respiratory System Conditions

When you are applying for SSDI benefits related to a respiratory system condition, the severity of your health issues will be of the utmost importance. To qualify for SSDI, you must suffer from a disability that is anticipated to go on for more than a year or end in death. You also need to be found incapable of performing any job you’ve previously performed, and also incapable of adjusting to another kind of work that would be available to you.

When you file for SSDI benefits, you’ll need to submit proof of your respiratory system condition. Proof can include your doctor’s medical report, along with the results of any medical imaging or other medical records. You’ll need to include documentation regarding your treatment, and establish whether the treatment (in addition to your condition) is incapacitating.

It can be challenging to show that a respiratory disease is totally disabling for purposes of securing SSDI benefits. It’s important to be under a doctor’s care and to follow his or her recommendations. This is because you must be able to show that you can’t do your job or another job after following whatever your doctor has recommended you do in connection with your respiratory disease.

In order for you to obtain benefits for your condition, you must have performed enough work in the economy to obtain a sufficient number of work credits, and you must have paid into the system. Your disability also needs to equal or meet the SSA’s Blue Book listing, and your Social Security attorney can help you understand these requirements.

The Blue Book

The SSA Blue Book, which is a comprehensive list of various disabling medical conditions, will be consulted to determine whether your particular disability meets the criteria to qualify for SSDI.

In Section 3.00, certain respiratory system conditions are listed, and the criteria to meet each listing are laid out. For example, asthma, which is a chronic inflammatory disorder, is evaluated either under listing 3.02 or 3.03 for purposes of SSDI. When there is respiratory failure from chronic asthma, it’s evaluated under listing 3.14.

To meet listing 3.03 for asthma, you must have had three asthma attacks within a 12-month period, and each attack needs to have lasted 48 hours. All the attacks need to have happened during the period of disability. You are considered to be under a disability for one year from the discharge date of your last hospitalization. After that, your residual impairment will be assessed. You must also fall below a required forced expiration volume in a valid test that is taken while you are stable.

Other respiratory system conditions may be evaluated under other listings. For example, the SSA evaluates COPD under listing 3.02, and evaluates cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes respiratory difficulties, under listing 3.04.

Equaling a Listing

Sometimes, SSDI claimants have a listed impairment, but don’t have the required medical findings. For example, if you haven’t had three asthma attacks that each lasted 48 hours, you won’t meet the listing for asthma. However, even if you don’t meet the Blue Book criteria for a particular respiratory system condition, you may be able to equal a listing. To equal a listing for a respiratory system condition, you’ll need to establish that your impairment is equivalent to a listing for a similar impairment in terms of how long it lasts and how severe it is. It may be possible to equal a listing by showing that you have a combination of impairments that are of equal medical significance to a particular listing.

Consult an SSDI Lawyer in Chicago

If you are concerned about obtaining SSDI benefits in Chicago because you have a disabling respiratory system condition, you can consult Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our seasoned SSDI attorneys can represent disabled individuals in claims and appeals in Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign, as well as across Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Adams, and Winnebago Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525, or through our online form.