The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) maintains a listing of medical requirements for impairments. If your medical record establishes that you meet every element of the Listing for your impairment, your Social Security disability benefits will be awarded at Step 3 of the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation. Adult asthma is included in the SSA’s “Listing of Impairments.” To meet the listing for asthma, the SSA will review your medical records and look for the following:
- Severe asthma attacks that last one day or longer and require medical treatment, such as intravenous antibiotics, intravenous bronchodilator or prolonged inhalation treatments at a hospital or emergency room, and
- Severe asthma attacks at least every other month, or six times per year.
Alternatively, if you have chronic bronchitis and asthma, you may be able to meet a listing based on the results of lung function/breathing test results.
It can be difficult to get the medical proof you need. Many medical records just don’t have the necessary detail to establish that your asthma is disabling enough to meet or equal a listing. However, if you are denied at Step 3 of the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation, don’t worry. SSA will then determine your entitlement to benefits based on medical and vocational criteria at Steps 4 and 5.
If in fact you or someone you care for are struggling with asthma to the point where your/their ability to work has been compromised, contact Ellis & Associates at 1-800-Mr. Ellis for advice as to whether Social Security disability benefits may be an appropriate resource to pursue.