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Social Security Disability Benefits for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Posted June 13, 2017

Social Security Disability AttorneyChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a collective term that refers to several lung diseases. It causes damage to your lungs over time, blocks airflow, and creates breathing difficulties. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two most common medical conditions associated with COPD. More than 24 million people suffer from COPD in the United States, of which only 13 million are reported cases, according to the American Lung Association.

There are several symptoms of this disease that make performing daily activities and workplace duties difficult, such as:

  • Chest tightness or discomfort
  • Constant fever and coughing
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Shortness of breath during physical activity or even when at rest
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Wheezing

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with COPD, they can claim Social Security Disability benefits to treat their medical condition. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides aid to people suffering from COPD through different assistance programs.

Claiming Disability Benefits for COPD

The requirements of getting approved for disability benefits for different kinds of chronic respiratory disorders are laid out in a disability listing formed by the SSA. If you meet those requirements, you will be considered eligible to receive disability benefits. However, if your condition has not become severe enough to fulfill the listing requirements, you may still acquire the benefits by proving that your COPD affects your ability to breathe, making it difficult for you to work at any kind of job.

COPD Disability Listing

It is essential for you to be diagnosed with COPD to be considered eligible for benefits. For this, you will have to get a lung function test done by a consulting medical professional that has been hired by the SSA. The test must show that you have very limited airflow. This can be achieved through one of the following tests:

  • A DLCO test that determines the amount of oxygen passing into the blood
  • A spirometry test that measures your Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1) value or Forced Vital Capacity (FVC).
  • An oxygen saturation test
  • An ABG test that measures PaO2 and PaCO2 in the bloodstream.

The listing for chronic pulmonary insufficiency by the SSA has different tables that show the ranges of lung function values based on age, gender, and height for the various tests mentioned above. Alternatively, if you have been hospitalized at least three times in the last year due to complications or exacerbations of your COPD, each lasting for 48 hours or more and reoccurring 30 or less days apart, you will qualify for SSD benefits.

If you have been diagnosed with advanced COPD or your condition makes it difficult to breathe while performing your work duties, you should talk to an experienced Social Security attorney and determine your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

The SSA Listings for Respiratory Disorders
Posted May 15, 2017

Supplemental Security IncomeThe Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the Blue Book to determine the eligibility of a person’s disabling condition, and whether it is a serious enough condition to be considered as a complete disability. This set of guidelines has been divided into several sections that cover different body functions and systems. Respiratory system disorders are covered in the Blue Book’s third section.

When evaluating disability claims pertaining to breathing impairments and respiratory disorders, the SSA takes into account several things, including:

  • The length of period have been diagnosed with the condition
  • The duration it is expected to last
  • The types of treatments available for treating the disease
  • Your response to the treatments that have been conducted so far

If you have filed a claim for receiving Social Security Disability benefits, it is important for you to continue getting treatment for your problem during the process, and follow all prescribed treatments.

Listings for Respiratory Disorders

People that satisfy the eligibility requirements of a disability listing as laid out in the Blue Book are automatically approved for receiving disability benefits. However, meeting the listing requirements for respiratory disorders can be difficult. Here are the three key listings available in the Blue Book for breathing problems:

Chronic Respiratory Disorders: Listing 3.02

The eligibility requirements for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be found under listing 3.02. In order to meeting the listing, you must take a spirometry test must show that the FEV1 value is equal or less than a certain amount, which varies with height of an individual.

The second part is for people suffering from chronic restrictive ventilatory disease, which causes the lung volume to decrease, to meet the listing requirements by taking a spirometry test. If the Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) is equal to or less than to the amounts given in Table II of the listing, you will qualify for SSD benefits.

The third part is for people who have problems with the supply of oxygen from the lungs to their blood. Claimants are required to take a DLCO test, which measures the levels of PaO2 and PaCO2 in the bloodstream.

Since the guidelines laid out in listing 3.02 and its tables are technical, you may have to consult your doctor regarding the tests and their results to ensure you meet the requirements.

Asthma: Listing 3.03

The listing requirements for persistent asthma attacks include three times hospitalization due to symptomatic episodes in a year. The attacks must happen at least 30 days apart, despite following prescribed treatment, and the duration of each hospitalization must be at least 48 hours.

Cystic Fibrosis: Listing 3.04

Listing 3.04 has several options for meeting requirements for cystic fibrosis, such as requiring regular hospitalizations or having low value of FEV1 or having low SpO2 levels. Additionally, listing 3.04 also covers pneumonia, pneumoconiosis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, and other lung infections.

Understanding the guidelines of the Blue Book’s listings often times is difficult. If you want to make a claim for Social Security Disability benefits for respiratory disorder, you should talk to an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

Eligibility for SSI: Income and Asset Limits
Posted April 17, 2017

Supplemental Security IncomeFor a disabled person to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they have to meet the asset and incomes limits, apart from fulfilling the SSA’s criteria for disability. Unlike Social Security Disability benefits, SSI is a program based on an individual’s needs and is available to people with limited resources. These resources may include cash or money in your bank, real estate, bonds and stocks, and any other asset with a monetary value.

Eligibility for SSI

To qualify for this program, the disabled person must have countable resources less than $2,000. In the case of a couple, it should be less than $3,000. Items that may not be included in the calculation of countable resources include:

  • Your primary home
  • Some personal and household items
  • Life insurance policy with face value of $1,500 or less per person
  • One vehicle used for transportation purposes
  • Any property that you or your partner uses to carry out certain jobs or business activities
  • Your burial plots or of your immediate family members

SSI limit for Income

The income limit for obtaining SSI is equal to the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). For an individual in 2017, it is $735 per month, while for a couple it is $1,103. The benefit amount changes almost every other year. You should keep in mind that not all income comes under countable resources and if you earn more than this figure, you may still be eligible for SSI.

In certain situations, the SSA may also take into account the income of household members living with the SSI recipient. If your spouse doesn’t receive SSI some part of their income will be counted when calculating your countable income. In the case of a disabled child who applies for SSI, some of the parent’s income will be considered as the child’s income.

What are State Supplements?

The state you live in also determines the amount of income you can have in order to be eligible for SSI. A majority of the US states provide supplemental payment to people receiving SSI, including Illinois. State supplements may be between $10 and $700. The limit of SSI income increases with the state supplement amount. This allows individuals qualifying for a higher amount of monthly SSI to be able to earn more countable income while still being eligible for SSI.

However, it may become hard to determine the precise income limit for SSI applying to you, as it is difficult to exact state supplement amount that you are eligible to receive. The amount varies in most states based on an individual’s living conditions. For example, if a person is a nursing home resident, they may be eligible for higher state supplements than others.

If you want to know whether you qualify for receiving SSI benefits or your application has been denied, you should talk to an experienced Social Security attorney to discuss your case. Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

Do you Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Posted March 16, 2017

Social Security AttorneyThe United States has a great system which does not leave the people who have sustained a disability in their later life to fend for themselves. People who are suffering from diseases such as congestive heart failure, late stage kidney disease and cancer, or even people who have sustained a permanently damaging injury due to aging effect or residual conditions may become eligible for a disability benefit.

There are certain rules that the government has set to ensure that a person who truly deserves the benefits receives them. These include:

  • The person in question must have a mental or physical disability
  • The disability hinders the person’s ability to do gainful work
  • The disability must be one that has lasted or will last 12 months, or can lead to the death of the affected.

Proving a disability can be very difficult which is why, when seeking out a disability benefit, it is advised to talk to a lawyer who is reliable in this field of work. Here are some guidelines for people who are claiming a disability benefit.

Physical or Mental Disability

It is clear that the benefit is only meant for people who are medically declared as being physically or mentally impaired. For people who are claiming a disability benefit, organizing all your documents, including doctors’ and medical bills that have been paid in the last year, can easily prove to the social security administration that you have a legitimate reason to acquire the benefit.

Disability hinders the ability to perform substantial work

For people claiming a disability benefit, having a link between you and your disability not letting you perform at your current job, must be strong. Once this link has been established and confirmed, the administration will then judge whether you are able to perform well at any other job that can pay more than $1,170 per month. If not, then you will be legible to qualify for a disability benefit.

Disability should be lasting

The disability should be one that can last for or has lasted for 12 months. For this, you can contact your doctor and ask for a letter that confirms the disability as one which is either fatal or long lasting.

For people who are seeking this benefit, taking out the time to get into the details of social security law and how it operates can be difficult. With the disability, the person can have a hard time going to places and getting everything in order. For this purpose, hiring a lawyer who is experienced in social security law can help ease things a lot.

Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been representing clients successfully for over 30 years. To schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney, contact us today, at (800) 608-8881.

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