Obliterative Bronchiolitis and Social Security Disability

Most Americans rely on their weekly or bi-weekly paychecks just to make ends meet. We live in a day and age where people’s budgets are stretched as tight as they can possibly go and each and every dollar counts. As such, when a worker is suddenly faced with a disability that prevents him or her from working and receiving their paycheck, financial havoc soon ensues. Fortunately, for many disabled workers, Social Security Disability benefits can help. The problem is that for most disability applicants, help does not come soon enough. It is not uncommon for a disability applicant to wait two years or more before receiving their first SSDI payment. The good news is that the SSA has recognized that some disability applicants cannot possibly wait years or even months for benefits to begin. As a result the agency implemented the Compassionate Allowances program. Under this program applicants suffering from certain conditions may qualify for benefits in a matter of weeks. Obliterative bronchiolitis is one of the conditions that have recently been added to the SSA’s listing of Compassionate Allowances conditions. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, the following information will help you understand how you may be able to receive expedited benefits under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Obliterative Bronchiolitis Condition and Symptoms

Obliterative bronchiolitis (also known as bronchiolitis obliterans, BO, OB or constrictive bronchiolitis) is a very rare and non-reversible form of obstructive lung disease. When a person suffers from this condition, the small airways in the lungs, also known as the bronchioles, become compressed and are narrowed by scar tissue and/or inflammation. This results in partial or complete obliteration of the airways. As such, the disease is very serious and can be fatal.

While symptoms of obliterative bronchiolitis can vary from case to case, common symptoms of the condition include a fixed airway obstruction, scarring in the lungs’ airways, wheezing, shortness of breath and a dry cough.

There are many possible causes that can lead to the development of obliterative bronchiolitis. Some of these causes include collagen vascular disease, rejection of a transplant organ, viral infections, drug reactions, aspiration, toxic fume exposure and rheumatoid arthritis. There are, however, some instances where the actual cause of the disease remains unknown. These cases are referred to as idiopathic cases since the cause is not identified during diagnosis.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Obliterative Bronchiolitis

This year alone nearly 70 percent of the disability claims received by the SSA will be denied during the initial stage of the application process. These denials are oftentimes the result of improperly completed claim forms or a lack of proper medical evidence. Unfortunately such a denial often means an appeal and a hearing before an administrative law judge – a process that can take more than two years to complete.

If you want to increase your chances of being among the Social Security Disability applicants who are awarded benefits without the need for an appeal, you will need to be sure to answer each and every question on the claim forms in detail and provide as much medical documentation as possible when submitting your claim to the SSA.

Even though it is not common for the SSA to deny a Compassionate Allowances disability application, it has been known to happen. Because of this, it is crucial that you fill out your claim forms properly and provide copies of medical records such as lab results, treatment histories and written statements from treating physicians.

Obliterative Bronchiolitis and Your Social Security Disability Case

If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to a case of obliterative bronchiolitis, you may want to consider retaining the services of a disability attorney before filing your disability claim with the SSA. Applying for disability benefits can be overwhelming and the paperwork involved can be very detailed and confusing. As mentioned above, you must fill this paperwork out properly in order for your claim to be approved quickly and without delay. By working with an attorney, you can ensure that your disability claim is submitted to the SSA in the best light possible and that you are not missing anything when your claim forms are submitted.