man-coughingDo you believe that your respiratory impairments are so severe that you can no longer do your fulltime job? If you are coughing up blood, having difficulty breathing, or have a chronic pulmonary illness, you owe it to yourself and your family to consult a Social Security attorney. With the support and assistance of a Chicago, Illinois-based disability lawyer you may find that you are eligible to receive significant, ongoing compensation.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has come up with specific criteria that will help them determine if your respiratory impairments are significant enough to lead to monthly benefits. Their “blue book” lists the breathing-related illnesses that, if serious enough, can lead to an inability to work and eligibility for compensation. These conditions include, among others, asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis. Your condition must be diagnosed by an independent medical professional and must impact your ability to do your job for at least one year.

Now, let’s take a look at these lung conditions in a bit more detail. In order to be eligible for SSDI on the basis of asthma, your condition must be serious enough that it does not respond to treatment, as documented by your doctor. If you have COPD, you must show that your air flow is markedly limited or that your blood is poorly oxygenated. If you have cystic fibrosis, you must show that you have chronic lung infections, cough up blood at least six times a year, or poor oxygen output when you exhale.

What if you don’t believe your condition is severe enough to meet the SSA’s criteria, yet your job performance and functioning are drastically reduced? If this is the case, it is definitely in your best interest to thoroughly document your illness and all of its effects on you. Ask your doctor to specify and verify your condition and take the step to consult a disability attorney. In the end, the SSA might still rule in your favor. If you are willing to invest some time and effort into the process of verifying and documenting your symptoms and meeting with an attorney, your perseverance and hard work have a good chance of paying off in the long run.