The effects of bronchiectasis can impact your ability to work and carry out daily activities. Many bronchiectasis sufferers experience compromised airflow, troubled breathing, and frequent respiratory infections because of the condition. These side effects can make it difficult to engage in physical activity for prolonged periods of time or to hold down a steady job.
If you have a diagnosis of bronchiectasis and cannot work, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Though the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers the condition disabling, that does not mean they grant benefits to everyone who applies. The requirements to get disability for bronchiectasis are strict and you need a strong application with substantial medical evidence. That is why you need a skilled and experienced Social Security lawyer working for you.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you win disability for bronchiectasis. Our specialty is helping our disabled clients get benefits. We have years of experience and a strong track record of success. We also have extensive tools and resources that we can put to work for you.
Call us today for a free consultation. You can sit down with a lawyer, have all your questions answered, and receive free advice on your claim. If you are ready to move forward, we can start building your case right away. Call 866-628-8179 now.
How Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits With Bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis has several causes. In some patients, the condition is congenital, meaning they were born with it. In others, bronchiectasis occurred because of other conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, or tuberculosis. Even less serious conditions, such as severe heartburn, can lead to bronchiectasis in rare cases. Drug abuse is also a factor in certain patients.
Regardless of how you got the condition, the criteria for receiving benefits are the same. There are two ways you can qualify with the SSA. The first is to meet the guidelines in the SSA’s Blue Book listing for bronchiectasis. The other is to prove your condition substantially impacts your ability to work.
What Are the Blue Book Requirements for Bronchiectasis?
The Blue Book contains information and qualification criteria for every medical condition the SSA considers disabling. If you meet the severity criteria for a condition listed in the Blue Book—and you meet the SSA’s income and work history requirements—you will likely qualify for disability.
The SSA’s listing for bronchiectasis provides the criteria by which you can qualify for benefits. To qualify, we must provide the SSA with proof that shows:
- Your condition required hospitalization at least three times within a 12-month period;
- The hospitalizations all occurred at least 30 days apart from one another; and
- Each hospital visit lasted for a duration of at least 48 hours, including any time you spent in emergency care prior to admittance to the hospital.
We will evaluate your medical records to determine if you meet the Blue Book criteria for benefits. If so, we will gather all evidence and build your case to submit to the SSA. We will ensure there are no omissions or oversights. Sadly, many disability candidates who are highly qualified receive denials—and then have to go through the lengthy and onerous appeals process—because of a simple oversight in their application. We can take this burden off of your shoulders when we take on your case.
If your condition does not meet the Blue Book criteria, we can take a different approach to approval. We can argue that your condition makes you incapable of working. We do this through something called the residual functional capacity (RFC) test.
How Do I Qualify With an RFC Test?
The SSA may grant disability benefits for your bronchiectasis if we can prove that your condition is severe enough that it limits or eliminates your ability to work.
Even if you do not meet the Blue Book criteria, the breathing problems associated with bronchiectasis can make it difficult or impossible to perform many jobs. Physical exertion, for instance, is not feasible if poor breathing prevents oxygen from getting to your working muscles efficiently. Even desk work can be hard for someone whose shortness of breath leads to general fatigue.
The RFC test measures how much your condition impairs your work capacity. It is important to note that you will not necessarily receive benefits simply because you are unable to do the exact job you did before. If the RFC test determines you can do less strenuous work, your application may receive a denial from the SSA. Many factors go into the decision, such as your age, work history, and level of education. For instance, an older worker with minimal education who has always done physical work might still receive benefits even if the RFC test determines they could work at a desk job. On the other hand, a young, college-educated worker may receive a denial if the test shows them capable of working in an office.
That is why we work with your treating physician to produce evidence in the form of medical exams and doctor’s notes that show the full extent of your disability. Depending on your history, we might need to demonstrate that even sedentary work is not feasible for you.
As part of the application process, we can also talk to your family, friends, coworkers, and others who see you regularly. We gather statements from them on what they have observed of your condition and how it has affected you. On their own, these statements are not enough to win benefits, but they can strengthen a solid claim already backed by medical evidence.
Call 866-628-8179 to Speak to a Social Security Lawyer at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC.
Are you ready to start building a winning claim? Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, for a free consultation. We know how to build a winning disability case for bronchiectasis. We can put our experience and resources to work for you. Call 866-628-8179 today for an appointment.