Many of us take the ability to breathe easily for granted. For some individuals, however, the body is unable to breathe normally due to a severe medical condition. The individuals who suffer from such illnesses experience a significant impact on their quality of life and the ability to perform routine tasks that most of us don't think twice about. Maintaining full-time work activity is one of these tasks. Bronchiectasis is one of the disabiling conditions that can interfere with an individual's ability to maintain full-time employment. In these cases, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help.
Bronchiectasis Condition and Symptoms
Bronchiectasis is a condition that is caused by the destruction and widening of the large airways of the respiratory system. There are two types of bronchiectasis, including congenital bronchiectasis (which is present at birth) and acquired bronchiectasis (which develops later in life).
The condition can be caused by a variety of factors. Sometimes bronchiectasis is caused by recurrent inflammation or airway infection. The disease usually develops during childhood due to complications from infection or inhalation of a foreign object. In some cases, genetic conditions can also lead to the condition. In the United States, cystic fibrosis is the cause of about one-third of all bronchiectasis cases.
The symptoms of bronchiectasis will vary depending on the severity of the condition and any underlying diseases that may be present. Common symptoms of the disease include bad breath, a blue tint to the skin, chronic cough producing large volumes of phlegm with a foul smell, clubbing of the fingers, coughing up of blood, fatigue, a pale complexion, shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss and chronic wheezing.
If a case of bronchiectasis is severe enough that the individual suffering from the condition is unable to sustain gainful work activity, the financial stress can be overwhelming. In these cases, it is advisable that the disabled individual apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Bronchiectasis
When applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to bronchiectasis, you will need to prove to the Social Security Administration that you suffer episodes of bronchitis, pneumonia, hemoptysis or respiratory failure at least once every two months. These episodes must require physician intervention in order to qualify under the Social Security Disability guidelines. The evaluation of these episodes must be conducted over a period of twelve months in order to determine the frequency of the episodes. You can also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits under Section 3.02 of the Social Security Disability guidelines with proper image testing.
When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to include a complete copy of your medical records in order to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration. This means providing the SSA with appropriate image test results and a complete copy of your medical records and treatment history. These records will be vital to the success of your Social Security Disability claim.
If you do not provide the SSA with sufficient medical records or if you do not qualify under the specific guidelines that have been published by the Social Security Administration, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if your bronchiectasis prevents you from performing any type of work activity. You will, however, have to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration and your initial application is likely to be denied. As a result, you will need to pursue the SSA's lengthy and complex disability appeal process to win your disability case.
Bronchiectasis and Your Social Security Disability Case
If your case of bronchiectasis meets the published guidelines of the Social Security Administration, your application for Social Security Disability benefits is likely to be approved during the initial stage of the application process. However, if there is any question as to whether or not you qualify for benefits under the SSA's published disability guidelines, your initial application will be denied by the Social Security Administration. If this happens, do not lose hope. The truth is that nearly 70 percent of claims are denied by the SSA during the initial stage of the application process. Most of these disability applicants must appear before an Administrative Law Judge in order to obtain the disability benefits they are entitled to.
If your initial application for disability benefits is denied and you need to pursue the SSA's disability appeal process, it is in your best interest to retain the services of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate. These professionals will understand what medical evidence is needed to prove your case to the Social Security Administration and will work to gather that evidence for your disability hearing. Your attorney or advocate may also retain expert witnesses to testify at your hearing, supporting your claim for the benefits you need.
To learn more about filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to a diagnosis of bronchiectasis, click here for a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case from an experience Social Security Disability lawyer.