Breathing is just something that happens naturally and involuntarily, so most people take it for granted. However, for those who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), just taking a breath can be extremely painful. COPD sufferers often experience coughing, shortness of breath or other breathing-related problems, which can make working or other physical activities virtually impossible.
What is COPD?
COPD is a term that pertains to various inflammatory lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis that happen on a regular basis and make normal breathing difficult. These conditions may happen individually, together or jointly with other disabilities or impairments. It is estimated that over 16 million Americans suffer from COPD.
Is COPD a disability?
In short, COPD is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA) under certain circumstances. To qualify for disability benefits, the symptoms experienced must match what is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book. Sufferers will also need to show that their condition has prevented them from working and will continue to do so for at least the next 12 months.
Obtaining disability benefits
When a person can no longer work due to COPD, he or she can apply for SSDI benefits by calling the Social Security Administration’s office or visiting the SSA’s website. However, obtaining disability benefits can be very challenging. Since most initial applications are rejected, applicants may need to file an appeal. Those who feel that they qualify to receive SSDI benefits and want to apply could get help by speaking with an experienced legal professional. A knowledgeable lawyer can help clients apply and, if necessary, file an appeal.