Does Asthma Qualify for Disability Benefits in Salinas, California?

Financial Assistance Can Relieve the Pressure on You

Whether you’ve had asthma since you were a child or you developed it in adulthood, you know the ways it impacts your life.

Narrowing and swelling of your airways. Tightness or pain in your chest. Wheezing or coughing.

Minor episodes mean shortness of breath once in a while after exerting yourself or breathing in pollen. A severe attack will send you to the hospital for medical intervention.

If you’re one of the 25 million people in the United States who have asthma, including about 8 percent of adults according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and it’s serious enough that you’re unable to work—you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Disability benefits free you from worrying all the time about money and let you concentrate on taking care of your health.

But are you wondering if you’re eligible for benefits with asthma? Not sure how to apply? Or has Social Security denied your benefits and you want to appeal? No matter where you are in the process, we’re here to help.

The experienced disability attorneys at Angelina Valle & Associates know how the Social Security Disability system works, and how to apply for benefits with any health impairment, in San Jose, Salinas and across Northern California. Our team can make a difference for you.

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Social Security Disability Eligibility for Asthma, and Any Condition, is Based on Severity

The core of any Social Security Disability claim is that your health problems, no matter what problems you are applying for benefits with, must be so severe that you can’t work.

That creates a challenge for a claim with asthma, because many people live with it, manage it and continue working. If your treatment plan keeps your asthma under control, you may not qualify for SSD benefits.

If your asthma severely limits your daily functioning, then you may qualify for benefits.

Social Security will need medical evidence that you have a clinical diagnosis of asthma and that it makes working impossible.

You’ll need documentation that shows:

  • Intensive treatments: Your asthma condition requires treatments such as an intravenous bronchodilator, antibiotic administration or prolonged bronchodilator therapy.
  • Hospitalizations: Asthma has put you in the hospital at least three times within a year, at least 30 days apart. Each hospitalization has lasted at least 48 hours, including hours in a hospital emergency room immediately prior to the hospitalization.
  • Diminished lung capacity: During the same year in which you were hospitalized three or more times, your airflow must have met very specific criteria while you were medically stable. Your airflow is measured with a spirometry test performed by a pulmonary function technician. You’ll inhale then exhale as much air as you can through a mouthpiece attached to a spirometer machine. The test will be repeated several times to get the most accurate result. The numbers recorded by the test are called FEV1 (forced expiratory volume). Social Security uses a chart that lists FEV1 readings adjusted by gender, age, and height without shoes. Your readings must be equal to or lower than the numbers on the chart.

If you think your case of asthma gives you a claim for disability benefits, you can explore your options more by talking with a disability lawyer for a free, initial consultation.
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Another Approach: Disability Benefits for Asthma Combined with or Made Worse by Other Conditions

Even if your asthma alone wouldn’t stop you from working, you can suffer from asthma and another lung condition at the same time. This can multiply the damage to your health, making it even more difficult to breathe and increasing your pain.

While any of these conditions can be benefits-eligible on their own when combined with asthma they can make your likelihood of being awarded disability benefits greater.

Conditions that can coexist with and make asthma significantly worse include:

  • Chronic Bronchitis:Commonly caused by exposure to tobacco smoke. If you have both asthma and chronic bronchitis, it’s called chronic asthmatic bronchitis. This is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and it is recognized by Social Security as an impairment that can qualify for disability benefits.
  • Bronchiectasis:A condition in which damage to the airways causes them to widen and become flabby and scarred. Its symptoms are similar to those of COPD.
  • Post-Infectious Pulmonary Fibrosis:Pulmonary fibrosis, the result of lung tissue being damaged or scarred, causes the lungs to thicken and become stiff, making breathing more difficult. When lung damage occurs as a result of an infection, it’s called post-infectious pulmonary fibrosis. The condition is becoming increasingly more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Emphysema:When the alveoli (tiny sacs in the lungs that let oxygen pass in and carbon dioxide out) deteriorate, it becomes increasingly difficult to breathe.

A disability lawyer knows how to gather and present the medical evidence and records, work history and other information that you need for a successful Social Security Disability claim.

Your lawyer can relieve the pressure on you by taking over the work of building your disability claim with asthma.

In the end, you could receive monthly checks and Medicare eligibility—and a greater sense of peace.

The Angelina Valle & Associates disability attorneys are here to help you get financial relief.

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