Does Asthma Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Does Asthma Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting people of all ages due to inflammation around the airways, making it harder to breathe. About 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma – but does this condition qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits? Our highly knowledgeable SSDI attorneys can provide some insight.

Is Asthma a Disability?

Most cases of asthma are relatively mild and manageable with home medication and lifestyle improvements. However, about 10% of asthma cases are considered severe and can limit your ability to carry out normal daily activities. This means about 2.5 million people in the United States suffer from severe asthma and their severe case can be considered a disability.

For individuals with severe asthma, this raises the question: Does asthma qualify for Social Security Disability benefits? Good news: the answer is Yes. However, due to the different levels of severity that comes with asthma, the Social Security Administration (SSA) might deny your application. Here’s what you need to know about asthma as a disability, as well as what the SSA looks for when approving disability benefits for applicants.

What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes, which are responsible for airflow to and from the lungs. During an asthma attack, these airways experience swelling and constriction, often accompanied by the buildup of mucus. People can experience asthma in different ways, leading to a range of symptoms. Common asthma symptoms include: shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest pain, though the severity of these symptoms can differ.

How Can You Medically Qualify for Asthma Disability Benefits?

When severe cases of asthma make it impossible to work, it is important for individuals to be able to access disability benefits. The SSA has a list detailing conditions that qualify for benefits. To meet their requirements, you must have a diagnosis of asthma, and it must be severe enough where intensive treatments are required and it is impossible for you to work.

Applying for SSDI With Asthma

SSDI is a crucial safety net that provides support for people who cannot work due to a medical disability. Disability benefits come in the form of monthly payments and cover essential living expenses, like rent, food, and utilities. To have a strong SSDI application, you should gather all your asthma-related medical documents as evidence, such as a breathing test or a pulmonary function test.

The SSA uses a five-step process to determine SSDI eligibility. The five steps are as follows:

  1. Determine whether you are currently engaged in substantial gainful activity
  2. Determine that you have at least one severe impairment that causes more than a minimal effect on your ability to work
  3. Determine whether your impairments meet or equal the severity of those in the Listing of Impairments
  4. Determine whether you can perform previous jobs you held
  5. Determine whether you can perform other work

Using these criteria and the information in your application, the SSA will determine whether or not you are eligible for benefits.

Speak With Our Attorneys if You Believe Asthma Qualifies You For SSDI

The SSDI process can be time-consuming and intimidating, and can oftentimes end in a denial. Whether you have questions about your initial application or you are looking to make an appeal, it is always good to contact a legal professional who understands how these claims work and what the SSA looks for when evaluating an asthma diagnosis. Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team. We take disability cases from all over the country.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law