Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating respiratory ailment that triggers breathing difficulty, as well as constant coughing and wheezing.
Although the disease is considered serious, you are not guaranteed to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) payments because you suffer from the symptoms of COPD. When you apply for SSD benefits, you need to support your claim with the proper medical documents.
The more evidence you submit in the form of medical documentation, the more likely the Social Security Administration (SSA) will approve your claim.
For information regarding the exact documents you need to satisfy the benefits criteria, you should refer to the Blue Book published by the SSA.
Overview of Social Security Blue Book
As the official source for explaining what you need to demonstrate to receive benefits, the Social Security Blue Book lists a vast number of physical diseases and illnesses.
The Blue Book clearly lists specific criteria SSD applicants must use to improve the chances of having the SSA approve claims. The online version of the Blue Book receives constant updates to ensure accuracy.
However, the SSA last updated the hard copy of the Blue Book in 2008. The SSA separates the illnesses suffered by adults and children, including providing a list of diseases and illnesses that can cause a permanent disability.
A large number of physical impairments listed in the Blue Book are considered disabling medical conditions that can make applicants eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance (SDDI).
Your Doctor Plays a Vital Role When Applying for SSD
You will not receive benefits for a SSD application, unless you have visited a doctor who has developed a diagnosis based on hard medical facts. Written statements from your doctor go a long way in determining whether the SSA approves your SSD claim.
A general written statement verifies you have visited a doctor. You should also include the medical opinion of your doctor, since the SSA places emphasis on medical opinions that corroborate patient claims.
Medical Records Needed to File a SSD Claim for COPD
The SSA Bluebook requires a comprehensive medical history from you validating your claim COPD has created a disability that has negatively impacted the capability to earn a decent living and take care of mounting medical bills.
You must submit documentation of the following tests your doctor has run to confirm the presence of disabling COPD:
- ABG tests
- Blood gas
- Lung function tests
- Spirometry Results
- Pulse oximetry levels
- Imaging tests that may show evidence of COPD
- Evidence you need supplemental oxygen that includes the flow rate
- Hospitalization records
Although any licensed doctor can submit the evidence, the SSA places more weight on the opinion of medical specialists. With COPD, your specialist is called a pulmonologist.
You also need to submit evidence of how COPD has impacted different body systems and evidence you have receive medical treatments for COPD.
Filing a disability claim with the SSA requires considerable time and effort. You also must possess an incredible amount of patience to deal with a large federal government agency.
The SSA denies many applications at the initial stage of reviewing documents, which means you have to go through additional reviews to reach a decision on your claim.
By working with a lawyer who specializes in handling SSD cases, you receive assistance in the filing of your claim and the legal expertise of a licensed lawyer who prepares you for a second review and appeal hearing, if the SSA decides to conduct an appeal hearing.