Disability Benefits for Asthma

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Uncontrolled Asthma Can Lead to Serious Complications

Believe it or not but Asthma can be a life-changing disease, with the potential to make a person partially or completely disabled. It is a chronic condition wherein a person’s lungs and airways become inflamed, narrow and swell, and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe.

This causes those with the condition to have to take frequent deep breaths that can lead to other painful symptoms and health conditions. 

Many asthmatic people face trouble due to breathlessness, wheezing, and even gasping for air. If a person is experiencing an asthma episode or attack, it is due to constricted and inflamed airways. 

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects the airways and may lead to shortness of breath. There are five types of asthma. It can be challenging to determine which type you have without a medical evaluation. If you are experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain, you should immediately get yourself evaluated by a doctor. 

Uncontrolled Asthma Can Lead To Serious Complications

Is Asthma A Disability? 

Many people diagnosed with the condition ask whether asthma is a disability or not. To be clear, asthma is considered a disabling condition under Section 3.03 of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book. 

You must meet the eligibility conditions to be eligible for disability benefits due to asthma under Blue Book criteria. The SSA will consider the limitations and symptoms you are experiencing. Based on the severity of your condition, the SSA will determine your eligibility. Special eligibility rules may apply for Disability over 50 years old.

The following are the five most common types of asthma:

  • exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB)
  • allergic asthma
  • cough-variant asthma
  • occupational asthma
  • nocturnal or night time asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that can lead to irreversible scarring of the lungs. Therefore, it is crucial to start medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure that your asthma condition does not worsen. An individual can even seek disability for Asthma in severe cases. 

A proper diagnosis from a medical specialist can help you determine the best course of action. The following are some of the common signs and symptoms of asthma. Consider these as warning signs and see a doctor immediately if you experience any of them.

  • Uncontrollable coughing
  • Tightness in the chest or chest pain
  • Wheezing 
  • Sweating and anxiety
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms require immediate medical attention and treatment and should not be left uncontrolled. Symptoms may vary from person to person, depending upon various factors like genetics, co-existing medical conditions, and overall health. 

When you should seek medical attention

If you have asthma symptoms, it is important to see a specialist immediately. An asthma inhaler or nebulizer may help improve your symptoms. Seeking immediate medical attention plays an important role in your overall health outcome. Long term and severe asthamatic attacks can cause anxiety issues in the patient. If anxiety conditions continue for a year or longer or lead to other health conditions, then you should know that anxiety is also considered a disability

Seek emergency treatment if you have the following symptoms: 

  • Extreme difficulty in breathing
  • Severe chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing while walking or talking
  • Bluish tint to the skin

These symptoms can be triggered by several factors, including cold air, cold viruses, airborne irritants, allergies, exercise, and even emotional upset. There are even instances where asthma attacks occur for no reason. 

The symptoms can be treated effectively with proper medication and lifestyle changes but in some limited cases, patients may continue to experience disabling asthma attacks even after getting treatment. 

You should speak to a medical healthcare provider if the frequency of your symptoms increases. They may recommend that you use an inhaler or nebulizer more often. Many people apply for short term disability due to asthma when the condition restricts their ability to engage in full time employment or normal activities of daily living.

Long-term complications of asthma

Asthma can negatively affect your health and may lead to complications in the long term. Each symptom can affect your health condition in different ways. There is no cure for this ailment, but you can minimize and prevent symptoms with the help of prescription medication and lifestyle changes. 

The following are some of the long-term complications that may arise because of asthma:

  • Airway and lung damage: Also known as airway remodeling, it is a long-term complication that may lead to irreversible scarring of the lungs and airways.
  • Disrupted sleep schedule: Asthma restricts airways and can have serious consequences like insomnia. It may lead to night time coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness. The condition can potentially interfere with your ability to get restful sleep at night.
  • Pregnancy complications: Pregnant women with severe, uncontrolled asthma may experience serious complications. This may pose a threat to both the mother and the child. Uncontrolled Asthma can even lead to pregnancy complications. Pregnant women are at higher risk of experiencing high blood pressure and other conditions aggravated by asthma that could lead to premature delivery.
  • Severe asthma exacerbations: Uncontrolled Asthma can even lead to severe exacerbations of attacks. In extreme cases, hospitalization may be required to treat the condition. The patient will even have to use a rescue inhaler several times a day.
  • Increased risk of infection: Patients diagnosed with Asthma are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia. This may occur because of lung damage or weakness of the lung tissue. You should take precautionary measures and consult your doctor for treatment. 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Asthma symptoms also increase the risk of developing GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Asthma may also make a pre-existing diagnosis of GERD worse and irritate your lungs and airways.
  • Obesity: Shortness of breath or wheezing are some of the common symptoms of obesity. An individual dealing with shortness of breath may often find it difficult to exercise and maintain a healthy weight. As a result, asthma may also inversely lead to obesity and other weight-related problems.

Can you get disability benefits for asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that may lead to the contraction of the bronchial tubes. As mentioned above, the Social Security Administration has listed asthma in section 3.03 of the respiratory disorders section of the Blue Book. You will have to meet the requirements below to get approved for disability benefits. 

  1. Your FEV₁ (forced expiratory volume) should be as stated in SSA’s Blue Book listing table, which depends on your age, height, and weight; and
  2. Complications must have required three hospitalizations within a 12-month period and at least 30 days apart and each hospitalization must have lasted at least 48 hours.

Symptoms may worsen over time. Therefore, you must get proper treatment and gather all the medical evidence. The SSA will use your medical documents to evaluate the severity of your condition and determine whether it meets Blue Book criteria. The medical records should contain the following:

  • Pulmonary function tests 
  • Lab and diagnostic tests
  • Medical history 
  • Physical examinations report
  • Scanned images 
  • List of treatments prescribed by your healthcare provider
  • Hospital visits details 

You should ideally have complete medical evidence to validate your claim at the time of applying for benefits. The experts may deny your claim for lack of evidence if you do not submit a complete claim. Additionally, it would help if you stayed in touch with your medical health care provider for treatment and recovery. 

Asthma can cause damage to your lungs and may make it difficult to survive without support. Therefore, you should follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment and medications to improve the chances of recovery. You can also file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Legal professionals can help manage things

Having relevant medical and other documents to prove disability is vital but doing anything while dealing with disabling conditions can be hard. Even family members will face a lot of difficulty trying to support someone with a severe disability. That is why it is best to hire an experienced attorney who can handle everything on your behalf and help you win the claim. We have experienced attorneys available to help you throughout this process. You can rely on us to fight for your rights.