Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is a progressive medical condition that affects the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, COPD can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and mucus buildup. COPD is most common in patients who suffer long-term exposure to smoke, air pollution, fumes, and dust. While some may consider COPD an “invisible disability,” the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes it as a condition that can limit your normal daily activities and ability to work. It also appears in the SSA’s Blue Book of disabling conditions. As a result, people with this diagnosis may qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits for COPD.
Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits for COPD?
In order to get Social Security disability benefits for COPD, your doctor must diagnose you with it first. Then, you must provide your complete symptom history to the SSA along with your benefits application. You may also need specialized tests to better detect how COPD affects your air flow and other lung functions. The SSA will then use the score you receive on your lung function tests along with your symptom history to determine if you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
When determining eligibility for disability benefits, the SSA also considers how much COPD limits your ability to work. If COPD affects you in the following ways, then the SSA may award you monthly SSD benefits:
- Your mobility level
- Ability to tolerate certain work environments
- How well you function on a daily basis and perform tasks without help, such as cooking, cleaning, doing dishes/laundry, etc.
Finally, eligible applicants must not currently receive any other Social Security benefits to qualify for SSD. This includes early retirement, regular Social Security, spousal or survivor’s benefits paid every month.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Getting Social Security disability benefits for COPD can be difficult. However, many find consulting with a Social Security attorney extremely helpful in getting through the claims process. Having an attorney file your application triples your chances for benefit approval on your very first try. Those who qualify for legal assistance through this website usually receive $12,000 in lump-sum backpay as well as monthly benefits. People who apply on their own without help typically wait at least two years for their first payment, or never get benefits at all.
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Megan Kelly is a former blogger and copywriter for LeadingResponse.