Arizonans with pulmonary and respiratory disorders who cannot work due to their condition may be entitled to disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Given the challenges of filing a claim and meeting the eligibility requirements for benefits, it takes an experienced disability attorney to protect your rights.
At Disability Attorneys of Arizona, our practice is dedicated to helping disabled individuals and their families obtain the benefits they need and deserve. A respiratory disability can make breathing difficult but also prevent you from working and performing daily activities, even walking. Trust our legal team to help you navigate the claims process and stand by you. Contact our Phoenix office today to schedule a consultation.
What respiratory disorders qualify for disability benefits in Arizona?
The SSA maintains a listing of qualifying impairments known as the Blue Book, which covers respiratory conditions, including:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Respiratory failure
- Lung infections
- Lung transplant
- Sleep apnea
- Sleep-related breathing disorders
Generally, if you have a listed respiratory condition, you qualify for benefits as long as you meet the SSA’s technical and medical eligibility requirements. It is worth noting that disability examiners rely on the Blue Book as a guide when evaluating claims for respiratory conditions, but also consider several factors, such as
- How long you have had the impairment
- How long your respiratory condition is expected to last
- What treatments have been or could be attempted
- How you have responded to treatment
In short, your condition must be expected to last at least one year and/or end in your death. Moreover, your respiratory impairment must prevent you from performing any substantial gainful activity (SGA).
Filing A Disability Claim for Respiratory Disorders in Arizona
To obtain disability benefits for a respiratory condition, you must file a claim with a local SSA field office by mail, in-person, or online. Your claim must include a medical report from your doctor which includes a diagnosis and prognosis of your impairment, as well as other medical evidence including:
- Lab tests
- Imaging scan results
- Pulmonary function tests (spirometry)
- Treatment plan (e.g. oxygen, medication, rehabilitation)
In addition, you should report whether you have experienced any side effects resulting from your treatment plan. For example, do side effects from steroids impact your ability to work?
Because respiratory issues vary widely, it is crucial to provide a thorough medical record so that disability examiners can better evaluate your respiratory condition. This is where Disability Attorneys of Arizona can help.
Our legal team will work closely with you throughout the claims process and also collaborate with your doctor to collect the necessary medical evidence, supporting documentation, and additional information about your particular limitations. Trust our experienced disability attorneys to handle your claim expediently and professionally and fight for the benefits you deserve.
When Your Respiratory Impairment Qualifies for a Medical-Vocational Allowance
If your condition does not meet the SSA’s criteria for disability benefits, you may still qualify under the medical-vocational allowance. This is a series of guidelines designed to determine whether you are able to work based on your condition. The SSA considers factors such as your:
- Educational background
- Work experience
- Work history
In addition, the SSA will evaluate your residual functional capacity (RFC) to determine whether you can perform your job duties, either with modifications or in a different position entirely. In sum, your RFC is an assessment of the maximum amount of work you can perform based on the limitations of your respiratory condition. If the SSA determines that you are unable to work under the medical-vocational allowance, you may be awarded benefits. Ultimately, the best way to protect your rights is to have the advice and guidance of an experienced Arizona disability lawyer.
How Our Firm Can Help with Your Respiratory Disability Claim
At Disability Attorneys of Arizona, we have in-depth knowledge of the Blue Book listings for respiratory conditions and decades of experience handling disability claims. When you become our client, we will help you navigate all aspects of the process — submitting your initial claim, filing a disability appeal, and advocating for you at the disability hearing.
Although obtaining disability benefits is a lengthy and exacting process and initial claims are frequently denied, working with our experienced disability attorneys increases the likelihood of your claim being approved. Because we understand your physical and financial challenges, we will not charge any attorneys’ fees until we obtain disability benefits for you.
Contact Our Experienced Arizona Disability Attorneys for Respiratory Disorders
If you or a loved one is suffering from a respiratory or pulmonary condition, turn to Disability Attorneys of Arizona. We will offer you compassionate, efficient representation, stand by you every step of the way, and help you secure all the medical and financial resources you need. Contact us today so we can start working on your claim.