If you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, you know how difficult it can be to work. When breathing is impaired, working at your job at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, may be next to impossible. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration recognizes COPD as a disability and will grant benefits to some applicants. If you do not qualify based on the criteria for the listing for this condition, you can still qualify if you are able to demonstrate that COPD makes it so that you cannot work to earn a living.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
To determine whether you might be eligible for benefits even though you do not meet the criteria under the listing for COPD, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your COPD reduce your ability to breathe?
- Does your reduction in ability to breathe make it so that you cannot carry out the functions of any type of job?
- Does your reduced breathing capacity make it so that there are no jobs that you know how to do, given your age, education, and experience level?
If the answer is yes, you may qualify for disability benefits based on your reduced capacity for work caused by COPD. Your next steps should be as follows:
- Contact your health care provider.
- Ask your doctor to provide the Social Security Administration with a medical opinion as to what kinds of activities you can and cannot do. For example, if you cannot be exposed to dust or fumes, your doctor should state that in his opinion.
- Submit to a residual functional capacity assessment when instructed by the Social Security Administration to do so. This analysis uses your test results and your doctor’s stated restrictions to determine what types of activities you are capable of performing, ranging from sedentary work to heavy work.
Depending on the results of the residual functional capacity assessment, the Social Security Administration may determine that you are unable to work and approve your request for benefits.
If you would like to learn more about how you might be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, we strongly encourage you to contact us today. We have been helping clients just like you for many years. Learn about it yourself by reading the many client testimonials on our website!
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.