Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, is a condition that damages a person’s lungs and affects breathing ability by blocking the person’s airflow. According to recent reports and estimates, there are about 13 million reported cases of COPD across the country and as many as 24 million people who are currently suffering from COPD. When COPD prevents a person from working and earning a living, sufferers may be able to obtain Social Security disability benefits to help them through this tough experience.
What stage of COPD qualifies?
The two most common types of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. But COPD has four stages: mild, moderate, severe and very severe. If COPD is severe enough to keep the individual from working for at least one year, it’s possible to qualify for disability regardless of what stage of COPD the person is in. However, those with severe to very severe COPD have a better likelihood of qualifying for disability benefits.
Applying for SSD for COPD
Those who can no longer work due to COPD and want to apply for SSDI benefits can visit the Social Security Administration’s website or call their office to begin the application process. However, it may be beneficial to speak with a physician before starting an application. The process of qualifying for SSD benefits is sometimes a long and drawn-out process, so it may not be worthwhile for an individual to apply if the doctor does not think he or she will be approved.
Applicants will need to supply documents and records about their condition and the types of medical treatment they have received. It is recommended to check the Social Security Administration’s website for the specific medical evidence that is needed. Many eligible applicants are denied disability simply because they are missing key information. Any person who suffers a chronic illness and has questions about eligibility or applying for SSDI benefits can obtain much-needed guidance by contacting and speaking with a knowledgeable disability attorney.