Pulmonary transplantation surgery—also known as a lung transplant—is a relatively new innovation in medicine. While a lung transplant can save your life, it is major surgery that can have drastic effects on your lifestyle and work capacity, often rendering you totally incapable of working on a long-term or permanent basis.
If you recently had a lung transplant, or you are a candidate for one and expect to have the procedure in the near future, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for several years afterward—and possibly forever.
A disability attorney at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can handle your benefit claim. We know how to get disability for lung transplants. Let us help you get much-needed money in your pocket after your surgery.
To set up a free consultation to discuss your eligibility for benefits, call our office today at 866-628-8179.
Our Attorneys Build a Compelling Claim for Disability Benefits for Lung Transplants.
Even if your condition is severe and disabling, applying for and receiving disability benefits can pose a challenge. In fact, many applicants with disabling conditions receive a denial from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
If the SSA denies your application, you have to appeal your case to have any chance of receiving benefits. This process may drag on for several years. Even after completing your appeal, you may still receive a denial for benefits.
Sadly, the reason for many denials has little to do with the applicant’s condition not meeting guidelines. Rather, it often happens because of mistakes in the actual application—often ones that seem trivial.
The disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, have been in business for many years. In that time, we have fought and won benefits for enough clients to have a full understanding of what it takes to build a thorough, compelling claim for disability benefits. We have also helped countless clients navigate the appeals process to get the benefits they needed.
Whether you are applying for benefits for the first time or you received bad news on your application, we want to help you win benefits for your lung transplant. Let us put our skills and expertise to work for you.
How Can I Win SSD Benefits for a Lung Transplant?
To qualify for SSD benefits, we must show the SSA proof that you are totally disabled. The SSA will consider you disabled if you are unable to reasonably sustain meaningful, gainful employment. In other words, we have to show that you are completely unable to work given your current condition.
Fortunately, the SSA maintains a master list of medical conditions that qualify for benefits, provided that you meet the criteria listed for the condition. This list is the Blue Book, and it features a listing for lung transplants.
If we can show that you meet the criteria for a Blue Book listing, we should be able to win benefits in a straightforward manner. Otherwise, we can use the residual functional capacity (RFC) test to demonstrate to the SSA that your condition has the same impact on your life and your work capacity as a Blue Book condition would.
What Is the Blue Book Listing for Lung Transplantation?
The Blue Book listing for lung transplants—Section 3.11—is simple and straightforward. The SSA considers you fully disabled, and thus eligible for benefits, for three full years after your procedure.
At that point, you might qualify for continuing benefits, but the SSA must see proof of residual impairments that render you incapable of working. Possible examples of residual impairments include asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and other respiratory disorders. If you suffer frequent rejection episodes or other bodily complications during the three-year period, you are also likely to qualify for continuing benefits.
If, after three years, your residual impairments no longer meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing, we can fight for your continuing benefits by completing an RFC test.
How Can an RFC Test Help?
The RFC test provides an alternative path to a disability approval. Rather than showing that your condition satisfies the criteria of a Blue Book listing, we demonstrate that its effects on your work capacity and activities of daily living—such as bathing, dressing, and eating—are equivalent to those of a Blue Book condition.
Your treating physician fills out the RFC test, populating it with diagnostic info as well as his or her professional observations on how the residual impairments from your lung transplant affect on you a daily basis.
A thorough and compelling RFC test has the same powerful effect on your application as showing your condition meets the Blue Book’s criteria.
Are There Other Requirements for SSD Benefits?
In addition to qualifying based on medical criteria, you also must show the SSA that you meet the income, asset, or work history requirements for the disability program to which you are applying.
These requirements vary based on whether you are seeking benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
If you are applying for SSDI, you must have a sufficient employment history, be able to demonstrate that you have worked a certain amount during the last 10 years, and have paid payroll taxes. You must also earn less than the SSA’s substantial gainful activity limit, which is $1,170 per month for 2017. This shows the SSA you are unable to sustain meaningful employment due to your lung transplant.
To qualify for SSI, you must prove that you have a financial need, meaning your total income and assets are both below a certain threshold. For 2017, you can only earn up to $735 per month and your personal assets cannot be worth more than $2,000.
As your attorneys, we will review your financial records, using them to determine if you qualify for the SSDI program, SSI benefits, or both.
Call 866-628-8179 Today for a Free Consultation With Our Disability Lawyers.
The team at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, has a long, successful history of helping clients win disability benefits. Let us put our resources to work for you. For a free consultation, call 866-628-8179.