Pneumoconiosis and Social Security Disability

Some jobs come with hazards and each day you go to work you face a certain number of risks. The profession of a coal worker is one of those jobs. While many diseases seem to hit without rhyme or reason, Pneumoconiosis is not one of them. Pneumoconiosis, also known as Black Lung Disease, is an occupational condition that is usually developed by individuals who work in coal mines. When a coal worker develops this disease, it becomes impossible for them to continue in their line of work and it often becomes impossible for them to perform any type of work activity at all. In these cases, Social Security Disability benefits may be in order.

Pneumoconiosis Condition and Symptoms

Pneumoconiosis is a lung disease that is caused by inhaling coal dust. There are technically two forms of this condition, which are CWP (coal workers' pneumoconiosis) and PMF (progressive massive fibrosis).

When an individual develops this condition, it is caused by damage to the lung from the inhalation of coal dust. As the lungs inhale the dust, the walls of the air sacs become inflamed and the tissue of the lungs begin to stiffen from the scarring that occurs. Unfortunately, once the disease develops, there is no cure. However, there are treatments that can address the symptoms of the condition and the complications that it causes.

The symptoms of Pneumoconiosis can vary from case to case depending on how far the disease has progressed and the severity of the condition. Common symptoms of Pneumoconiosis include: cough, shortness of breath, chest pains, difficulty breathing, wheezing, edema of the feet, liver enlargement and progressive heart failure.

Once an individual develops this condition, it can be nearly impossible to maintain the duties of employment. Continuing work in the coal mines is impossible, and transitioning to another type of work may be out of the question. Because of this, these individuals usually choose to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Pneumoconiosis

The Social Security Administration does list Pneumoconiosis in its published listing of impairments. To be eligible to receive Social Security Disability payments as a result of a diagnosis of this condition, it must be determined that you are completely disabled due to the limitations that your condition places on you. However, this is where the application process may become troublesome for you.

In the beginning stages of Pneumoconiosis your symptoms may not prevent you from performing certain types of work activity. For example, if you are diagnosed with Pneumoconiosis and are unable to work in an environment that would worsen your condition, it may be determined that you could work in another type of environment, such as an office setting. However, before assuming you can make such a career transition, the SSA must take into account your education, work history and age. In addition, they must take your residual functional work capacity into account. Because of this, it is imperative that you accurately an thoroughly fill out all of the application forms when completing your Social Security Disability claim, including the residual work capacity forms.

In most cases a claim for Pneumoconiosis will be granted by the Social Security Administration if there is enough medical evidence to support the claim. If, however, your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, you will need to undergo the disability appeal process in order to obtain the benefits you are entitled to.

Pneumoconiosis and Your Social Security Disability Case

If your claim for Social Security Disability benefits based on a diagnosis of Pneumoconiosis is denied by the Social Security Administration, you will need to file an appeal with the Social Security Administration and have a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. The good news is that two-thirds of disability cases are decided in the favor of the disability applicant as a result of these hearings. It is important, however, that you have proper legal representation when attending the hearing for your Social Security Disability case. These cases can be complicated and you will want a professional representing you at this stage of appeals.

Social Security Disability lawyers are well versed in the laws that pertain to Pneumoconiosis disability cases and they will be able to gather the evidence that will be needed to support your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. Statistics show that applicants who obtain legal representation for their disability hearing are more likely to be awarded Social Security Disability benefits than those who do not.

To learn more about filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to a diagnosis of Pneumoconiosis or to learn more about working with a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate, simply fill out the form for a free case evaluation Social Security Disability case.