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When you or a loved one have cystic fibrosis, you know all too well the extent to which this illness can impact your life, from the ability to interact with family and friends, to sustaining meaningful work, or any work at all. If you have earned enough work credits and your cystic fibrosis has caused you certain lung impairments, it may be possible to seek benefits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
An experienced SSDI attorney can assist with every aspect of your case, from submitting key medical proof to navigating the appeals process if your claim is rejected.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that involves dysfunction in the cells that transport chloride and generate fluids like mucus or sweat. Widely reported symptoms include difficulty breathing, sinusitis, persistent lung infections, stunted growth, and frequent coughs. Difficulties gaining healthy weight, shortness of breath, intestinal issues, as well as significant quantities of salt in the sweat can all be indicators of cystic fibrosis. Over time, it can also lead to other physical complications, including fertility problems, diabetes, and even organ failure.
Depending on the severity of a patient’s condition, he or she may find that continuing gainful employment is extremely difficult or even impossible as time goes on. In these cases, it may be possible for a cystic fibrosis patient to obtain SSDI benefits to replace a portion of the earnings he or she would have enjoyed if they could continue working.
SSDI benefits are intended for individuals who have enough work history and suffer from a condition that satisfies the Social Security Administration’s definition of a total disability. If the applicant’s cystic fibrosis means that he or she is unable to work for at least 12 months, nor conduct any substantial gainful work, prior work, or adjust to new forms of work, this may be considered a total disability to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Work credits are earned by paying into the Social Security system, either through payroll taxes that employers and workers pay, or through self-employment taxes. The amount of work credits you need to obtain SSDI benefits will depend on your age.
Most SSDI applicants must endure a five-month waiting period, meaning the earliest he or she could receive benefits would be six months after the approved disability onset date.
There are multiple circumstances in which cystic fibrosis patients may be eligible for expedited approval of SSDI benefits by meeting Listing 3.04. For example, if you have experienced certain types of respiratory failure, have a collapsed lung, chronic lung infections, a vascular embolization, or been hospitalized three times in the previous 12 months, at least 30 days apart, you may qualify for automatic SSDI approval.
If you have cystic fibrosis and believe that you may qualify for disability benefits, you should speak with our attorneys to learn more about your legal rights and options. Getting SSDI benefits for cystic fibrosis can be a complicated journey, and it is best to work with someone knowledgeable in these matters from the start of your case.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law