Emphysema is a serious medical condition that interferes with a person’s ability to breathe. If you have this condition, you may experience shortness of breath or have difficulty exhaling. Either way, your emphysema diagnosis may interfere with your ability to work.
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may be available for your emphysema. To qualify for benefits, you must have the requisite number of work credits and a disability that lasts at least a year. You must also either meet a Social Security Administration listing or have significant restrictions on your ability to work.
The SSA listing for COPD
Individuals with emphysema may automatically qualify for disability benefits by satisfying the SSA listing for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If you intend to go this route, you likely need to undergo a couple spirometry tests to measure your lung functionality.
Additionally, you may need x-rays, CT scans or other diagnostic images of your lungs. A record of time spent in the hospital may also be helpful.
Significant restrictions on work
Even though there is no cure for emphysema, doctors have a variety of ways to help you manage the condition. If your doctor places so many restrictions on your work abilities that you cannot do any available job, you may qualify for SSDI benefits. If you decide to seek benefits under this theory, carefully documenting your disability is critical.
If your physician’s treatment plan includes considerable restrictions on work-related activities, you may have trouble supporting yourself and your family members. Whether through meeting the SSA’s COPD listing or proving significant restrictions on work, SSDI benefits may help you make ends meet.