What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Important: We updated this article in June 2023 to make sure all info below is both current and correct. Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that causes thick scar tissue to grow inside the lungs. This breathing condition can slow oxygen flow into your blood, which can prevent your body from functioning properly. People who suffer from pulmonary fibrosis often experience shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, weight loss, and aching muscles. In most cases, doctors are unable to determine the root cause of the disease and diagnose patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis as an approved condition on the Compassionate Allowance List (CAL). The CAL consists of conditions so severe they automatically meet the SSA’s definition of disability. If you have a CAL list condition, the SSA may award you benefits in as little as 2-4 weeks.
Does Pulmonary Fibrosis Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Even though idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is on the SSA’s list of approved conditions, there’s no guarantee you’ll receive benefits. First, you must provide the SSA with strong medical evidence that supports your claim. When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, be sure to include the following along with your claim paperwork:
- Documentation of any physical exams related to pulmonary fibrosis.
- Evidence of related health problems from the disease (i.e., blood clots, a collapsed lung, or high blood pressure just in your lungs).
- Notes from your doctor showing your symptoms don’t improve, even with regular treatments.
- Current prescription medications, frequency, and dosage (along with any side effects you might experience).
- Doctor’s visit dates, payment receipts and descriptions of surgeries, outpatient procedures, or tests done during the last year.
- Relevant scans and lab results, such as bloodwork, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc. related to your pulmonary fibrosis.
Second, you must pass technical requirements for disability that have nothing to do with your health. These include:
- Working 5 in the last 10 years full time while paying Social Security payroll taxes.
- Not currently getting any other Social Security benefits.
- At least 18, but younger than 67 years old when you apply.
How to Get Expert Claim Help Free of Charge
Getting SSDI or SSI benefits for pulmonary fibrosis can be difficult. That’s why we recommend talking to a Social Security attorney for free before you apply. Having an attorney file your application nearly triples your chances for success within months, not years. Those who qualify for help through this website usually receive $13,800+ in back pay as well as monthly benefits. People who apply without expert help wait at least 24 months for benefits, if they get them at all.
Want free expert claim help when you apply? Click the button below now to start your free online benefits quiz and see if you may qualify:
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.