If you suffer from COPD, you may be unable to work and earn a living. If that is the case, you will file a claim for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If your initial claim for disability claims is denied, you should not be discouraged. After all, 70 percent of people are rejected on their initial attempt. When your claim is denied, you will want to file an appeal so the process can continue and so you do not have to start your claim all over from the start.
How To Appeal The Decision
When your initial claim is denied, you will receive a denial notice. In this letter, it will explain why your claim was denied and how long you have so you can appeal the denial. This appeal is referred to as a request for reconsideration. You will want to gather the necessary documentation to support your claim and to address the lack of details that the disability examiner denied your claim for.
You will want to enlist the help of a disability attorney to make sure you have all the documentation in order and to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner. An attorney will be able to help you successfully appeal your claim, and then show that you are unable to work and earn a living because of the severity of your COPD.
Blue Book For COPD
A medical guide, called the Blue Book, is used to determine if a claimant is eligible for disability benefits. The Blue Book has sections that cover different body systems, and each section has listings for different conditions applicable to that system that could be disabling. Each condition has specific medical criteria that must be met for a claimant to qualify for disability. COPD claims are reviewed using the chronic respiratory disorder section of the Blue Book Listing 3.02. To qualify you will need to provide evidence that supports your claim and matches the listing criteria.
You should be able to provide these records from your physician, which include your diagnosis, the progression of your condition, a physical examination, presenting symptoms, and more. You will need to provide test results from an arterial blood gas, pulse oximetry levels, imaging tests such as a chest x-ray or CT scan, documentation of supplemental oxygen use with the flow rate, pulmonary lung functioning tests, ABG tests, spirometry results, pulse oximetry, hospital records.
Consider An RFC
If you cannot meet the criteria of the Blue Book listing, you may qualify for disability benefits using a medical vocational allowance with a residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC is a detailed form that explains what you can and cannot do. As an example, because you have COPD you may suffer from shortness of breath that will not allow you to walk more than 500 feet before you must rest. You may suffer from fatigue and weakness, which require frequent breaks.
When you use a medical vocational allowance, they review your age, work history, skills, educational background, medical conditions, limitations and restrictions, and anything else that would come into play with your ability to work. They will determine if you can work and earn a living.
Don’t Try It Alone
Disability claims are complex, so you should enlist the help of a disability attorney. An attorney will increase your chance of your claim being approved. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form.