Chronic asthma is much more than the occasional allergies when the flowers and trees start to bloom. It’s a condition that can impact a person’s ability to do the one thing necessary to live — breathe.
Someone with asthma struggles to do simple tasks that others take for granted, like working. To be able to work at a job where you can earn a living for your family is what everyone wants, but if you are someone with chronic or severe asthma, that may be hard to do. In this case, severe cases of asthma may be able to qualify you for Social Security disability benefits.
What to Know About Asthma
A type of respiratory disorder, asthma is an inflammatory lung disorder that effects your ability to breathe by constricting airways. When someone with asthma takes a deep breath, instead of their airways relaxing like normal, they may constrict or start to spasm. When this happens— the airway narrowing— the person becomes breathless, begins to wheeze, and gasps for air. This is called an asthmatic episode.
Asthmatic episodes can be classified as either chronic or acute. When people typically think of asthma, dealing with allergies and sinus drainage, they are thinking of chronic asthma. In addition to allergies, chronic asthma can be associated with bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD. All of these conditions vary in length and severity of attack.
Just like most other medical conditions, there are different stages to asthma. The two primary stages are
- Hyper-Reactive Response: When the muscles in your airway tighten because of an outside stimulant.
- Inflammatory Response: When the immune system triggers the airway to swell then fill with fluid to produce mucous. This is what makes people with asthma sensitive to common air particles— dust and pollution— and cold air, normal exercise, and even emotional stress.
Can You File for Disability with Asthma?
Asthma is considered a condition under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Listing of Impairments. The SSA considers all claims based on the assessment of your condition’s severity and your ability to perform daily tasks, the limitations it has caused you, and the extent of ongoing treatment. When filing for benefits on the grounds of asthma, you must show that you have been diagnosed with asthma and that your asthma is severe enough to prevent you from participating in substantial gainful activity (SGA).
To show you meet the criteria, ongoing medical and clinical records must be provided. In these records, descriptions of treatment and your response should be included. What these records show is that your condition has only gotten more severe in your response to previous and current treatment.
Recording asthma attacks are helpful, but if you are filing a claim based solely on these attacks, they must be prolonged— lasting a minimum of a day each— and qualify for intensive treatment. According to the SSA, intensive treatment is defined as treatment with intravenous bronchodilator, antibiotics, or prolonged inhalational bronchodilator therapy received in a hospital or equivalent setting.
Not just that, asthmatic attacks have to occur even while receiving treatment at least once every two months or six times a year. In either case, the attacks must require medical attention. To have a case, the SSA has a requirement of treatment records for at least 12 consecutive months.
You can, of course, qualify for disability benefits with less severe asthma if you suffer from other conditions. The SSA evaluates your health as a whole, not just one condition on its own.
Hire a Muncie Disability Attorney
Difficulty breathing takes a toll on your body and can cause limitations that affect how you provide for your family. If you believe you might qualify for disability benefits with asthma, consult a Muncie disability attorney. Their knowledge about disability claims and working with the SSA is something that not everyone has. Call the attorneys at Hensley Legal Group or contact us online for a free consultation today.