Disability Benefits For COPD And Other Breathing Disorders

In order to obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration for COPD and other breathing disorders, based on the severity of that condition only, you must meet or exceed the Social Security Administration's guidelines. The guidelines are called "listings" and are in the Social Security regulations, and are available on the Social Security Administration's website at http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm.

People seeking disability benefits for respiratory disorders under section 3.00 must establish the existence of their disability with "medical evidence." This simply means that a doctor must have treated you for the conditions, and made office notes or other medical records that fully document your condition. Sometimes, the doctor's records do not fully address all the symptoms of your condition, or discuss all of the aspects that the Social Security Administration wants to know about. When this happens, a Social Security Disability lawyer can provide the forms and information necessary for your doctor to be fully able to communicate their opinions and findings in written form. At The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates, we work with our client's doctors to be sure that the Social Security Administration has all of the information that it needs to fully consider your claim for disability benefits.

Another challenge that people applying for disability benefits often have is establishing that available medical treatment is not able to cure their conditions, or alleviate their symptoms, to such an extent so as to permit them to work. The Social Security Administration requires this information to ensure that people whose conditions can be treated or cured, and who are thus able to work, do not receive benefits. At The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates, we work with our clients to help them find ongoing access to health care, to enable them to obtain "longitudinal," or ongoing health care records, to establish, when necessary, that medical treatment will not enable the client to recover to pre-disability levels.

In order to make a decision as to whether or not a person is disabled due to respiratory conditions, the Social Security Administration usually evaluates "under the listings on the basis of a complete medical history, physical examination, a chest X-ray or other appropriate imaging techniques, and spirometric pulmonary function tests." Sometimes, however, "more sophisticated pulmonary function testing may then be necessary ... additional testing might include measurement of diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide or resting arterial blood gases. Measurement of arterial blood gases during exercise is required infrequently." Unfortunately, "in disorders of the pulmonary circulation, right heart catheterization with angiography and/or direct measurement of pulmonary artery pressure may have been done to establish a diagnosis and evaluate severity." — 20 CFR 4.04 appendix 1 to subpart P §3.00. This is why it is so important that a person sees his or her doctor multiple times during the course of his or her disability application, and any subsequent appeals.

People who seek disability due to respiratory conditions will sometimes do so due to episodic conditions, such as asthma, which may not give them much trouble on a given day, but which result in trips to the hospital when flare-ups occur. "When a respiratory impairment is episodic in nature ... the frequency and intensity of episodes that occur despite prescribed treatment are often the major criteria for determining the level of impairment. Documentation for these exacerbations should include available hospital, emergency facility and/or physician records indicating the dates of treatment; clinical and laboratory findings on presentation ... the treatment administered; the time period required for treatment; and the clinical response." — 20 CFR 4.04 appendix 1 to subpart P §3.00 (C). When your condition requires multiple trips to the hospital throughout the year, finding and keeping employment is impossible. If this describes your condition, you may be entitled to disability benefits. Call Southwest Virginia's disability attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates.

One test that the Social Security Administration may ask you take is a lung function test. This type of test evaluates lung capacity, breathing speed and how well your lungs transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from your blood. Spirometry is one type of lung test that is done, which requires that the test taker breathes into a machine that takes measurements of your conditions. Depending on the results of this test, certain persons seeking disability could immediately qualify, without the need for further vocational evidence.

Certain sleep-related breathing disorders can also be the basis for a finding of disability. These conditions are similar in that they cause their victims to wake up multiple times throughout the night when they stop breathing. While this condition can sometimes be treated, it is known to "cause daytime sleepiness with chronic pulmonary hypertension and/or disturbances in cognitive function. Because daytime sleepiness can affect memory, orientation and personality," the condition could prevent the victim from being able to perform any gainful work, and rendering him or her disabled. — 20 CFR 4.04 appendix 1 to subpart P §3.00 (H).

If you or someone you know is disabled due to breathing disorders, you need a caring, dependable and effective Social Security Disability lawyer who serves the Roanoke Valley, New River Valley, Southside Virginia, Central Virginia and Southwest Virginia. Call The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates at 540-342-2000 today.