Getting Disability Benefits For Copd
The Social Security Administration has a disability listing laying out the requirements for getting automatically approved for disability for various chronic respiratory disorders, including COPD. If you meet the requirements of this listing, you automatically qualify for benefits. If your condition isnt severe enough to meet the requirements of the official listing, you may still be able to prove that your COPD reduces your capacity to breathe and exert yourself so much that you cant work at any type of job.
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What Do I Need To Do To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits Online
When you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits online you will want to be prepared. This means reviewing the Adult Disability Checklist that is available at the Social Security website. Once you have reviewed the checklist and have it in hand, you can then begin filling in the online Social Security Disability application. You will also need to fill out an Adult Disability report and print the Authorization to Disclose Information Forms and sign and mail those forms to your Social Security Office.
Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits For Copd
I am currently working on a New Orleans social security disability application for a client with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . I thought it would be good to discuss how a disability claim for COPD is evaluated by SSA under the listings.
COPD is a listing level disease. It is a Respiratory Impairment. It is listed at Listing 3.02. This means that if your medical records establish the requirements set forth in the listing then your disability application should be approved at Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. This is important because if your COPD meets the requirements in the listing, then SSA does not have to evaluate whether or not your COPD prevents you from performing past relevant work or work generally available in the national economy.
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How To Qualify For Social Security Disability
Eligibility for SSDI is contingent on disability and the inability to work. To apply for social security disability, you must be able to demonstrate that you have a qualifying disability that prevents you from being able to complete substantial work.
The disability must be a physical and/or mental condition that lasts for at least 12 months, is expected to last for at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death. Further, the disability must prevent the performance of any substantial work, also referred to as substantial gainful activity . In 2021, the SSA defines substantial work as earnings of $1,310 per month . Any income below this cap still allows you to apply for SSDI.
Applying for Social Security disability also requires you to be insured under Title II of the Social Security Act. This essentially means you must have worked long enough, recently enough, and contributed to the Social Security trust fund by paying tax on your earnings. While you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn Social Security work credits. Accumulating enough work credits, with some of them being earned recently enough, is one criterion for being able to receive Social Security disability payments.
In general, you need 40 work credits and must be earning at least $780 per month to qualify for SSDI benefits.
New York Ddd Locations
If your disability application does’t receive a technical denial at the field office, it will be sent to the Division of Disability Determinations , a state agency with various locations in New York, to be evaluated for medical disability. If you don’t receive a letter from DDD within a month or two of applying, you can call the toll-free DDD number for the New York Region at 800-522-5511 to find out to which office your case was sent. Here is contact information for the four DDD locations in New York.
Division of Disability Determinations
Covers the following field offices: Freeport, Long Beach, Melville, West Babylon, Mineola, Patchogue, Riverhead
SSA, Office of Hearing OperationsRoom 2909New York, New York 10278-0035 Telephone: 264-8819 Fax: 264-8633
Covers the following field offices: Downtown, Chinatown, Delancey Street, Murray Hill, Tompkins Park, Midtown, Lenox Hill, Staten Island, New Dorp, Uptown, East Harlem, North Harlem, Washington Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Williamsburg, East New YorkQueens
SSA, Office of Hearing OperationsJoseph P. Addabo Federal Building155-10 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd Floor Jamaica, NY 11431
Mailing address: Office of Disability Adjudication and Review Joseph P. Addabo Federal BuildingP.O. Box 319300 Telephone: 557-6530 Fax: 557-6575
SSA, Office of Hearing OperationsU.S. Federal Building, Room 4170100 State StreetTelephone: 263-5771 Fax: 263-5792
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Disabled Folks Over 65 Can Collect Social Security Disability Benefits Rather Than Retirement
By Lorraine Netter, Contributing Author
Some individuals who are over the age of 65 may not have the desire or financial ability to retire, but become disabled and are unable to continue working. Individuals who don’t wish to start collecting Social Security retirement benefits may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits if they can prove a disability keeps them from working. See our article on collecting disability and retirement for why collecting disability can be better than starting to collect retirement.
Social Security adds a few distinctions to the rules for those who are over 65 when applying for benefits. In general, these rules help those over 65 in the evaluation process.
The rules that apply to those over 65 can be divided by the method of qualifying for disability benefits. Individuals over 65 can qualify for benefits in two ways.
- Meeting or equaling a listing. Social Security’s “Blue Book” lists impairments that will automatically be considered disabling for those who meet all of the requirements in the listing. Listings can be “equaled” if you have an impairment that is very similar to, but not exactly the same as, a listing in the Blue Book.
- Medical-vocational allowances. Social Security will look at your limitations, age, education level and work history in deciding whether you can do other work. If not, you can be approved through a “medical-vocational allowance.”
Residual Functional Capacity Forms
If your claim was denied because your impairments were considered not severe , or DDS said you could do your past work, your file may not include an RFC form. But if DDS said you can do other, less demanding work than your past jobs, your file should contain a physical RFC form .
Check the RFC forms to make sure that the information is actually true. Note the limitations and abilities the medical consultant from DDS gave you. Do you agree with them? Do they contradict your treating doctor? Did the medical consultant say you have more exertional ability than your treating doctor says you have? Did the medical consultant fail to give you limitations suggested by your treating doctor, such as avoiding excessive fumes or restrictions on frequent bending of your back?
As you can see, understanding the SSA’s rationale for denying you benefits and whether they made any mistakes is complicated. Disability lawyers are experienced in finding errors in the SSA’s rationale and arguments for why you should have been found disabled. But if you aren’t sure you want to hire a lawyer, then at least learn more about how the RFC analysis works.
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Can I Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits Online
While many of our governments administrative agencies may seem stuck in the stone ages with long waiting lines and less-than-ideal service, the Social Security Administration is one of the agencies that have joined us in the 21rst century with an array of online services. One of these services is online SSD applications. If youve been wondering whether or not you can apply for SSD online, the following FAQs will provide you with the information youve been looking for.
What Do I Need To Apply For Social Security Disability
There are many requirements of information about yourself, your medical condition, and your required work when you apply for SSDI. The SSA website has a full checklist that helps organize all the information youll need before you apply, but here is an overview:
- Information about your spouse
- Information about your minor children
- Your bank information
- U.S. military service before 1968
- List of the jobs or employment in the last 15 years before the disability
- Dates associated with those jobs
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Important Tips On How To File For Your Disability
Do not procastinate
Because the process of pursuing a claim can be extremely time-consuming , it is never a good idea to put off filing if:
A) You has a severe mental or physical impairment and
B) That impairment or impairments is making it difficult for you to continue working at a level that earns a livable wage or income .
Speaking as a former disability claims examiner for the Social Security Administrations DDS , as well as having worked in claimant representation, I have found that many disabled individuals often procrastinate when it comes to filing for disability.
Typically, they procrastinate because they find the whole idea of filing for disability intimidating, or because they are unsure if their condition would eventully improve. In some instances, a person will find that their condition will improve making it possible to either stay at work, or return to work. But in a large percentage of cases, the individual will simply find that their condition remains the same or continues to worsen.
In either case, a number of monthssometimes even yearsmay have been lost. During that time lost, a case could have been won even if it involved having to file appeals.
Getting a claim started
SSI is based upon your income or resources.
How can you help make your disability interview go smoothly?
Determining If You Qualify
The Social Security website provides a list of requirements that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits. Additionally, you can look through their Blue Book, which lists the conditions and symptoms that they consider disabling. Matching your condition or symptoms to those that are listed will help you determine if you qualify.
New York Disability Statistics
In 2018/2019, at the initial application stage, the approval rate for initial disability applications was 39%. The approval rate at the reconsideration stage for the first part of 2019 was 15%.
At the appeal hearing level, in the 2018/2019 year, ALJs approved 60% of cases and denied 40%.
The average wait time for a disability hearing in New York is 19 months.
Application For Social Security Disability
You must be familiar with and follow the guidelines when submitting your Social Security Disability application online, on the phone, or in-person. The Social Security Disability application form must be completed along with all requirements and accompanying paperwork.
The Social Security disability insurance program is one of two federal programs the Social Security Administration has created that provides benefits for disabled individuals. The other program is the Supplemental Security Income program. It can be easy to mistake SSDI and SSI as both provide similar benefits but have very different qualifying criteria.
SSI is not Social Security. Although the SSA runs and has a similar name to SSI, the SSA does not fund the SSI program. SSDI benefits are based on disability and work credit while SSI was created specifically for disabled, low-income people who do not qualify for SSDI benefits. However, people who are eligible to apply for SSDI may also be eligible for SSI.
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New York Disability Appeals Process
If you file for Social Security or SSI disability benefits and your application is denied, you’ll need to appeal. A new step was added to the beginning of the appeals process in New York in January 2019, called reconsideration. Now, after getting a denial from the Division of Disability Determinations , you have to request that the the DDD reconsider its decision. If you receive a denial at the reconsideration stage, you can then request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge .
Reviewing Your File For A Mental Disability Claim
If you were denied benefits for a mental disability claim, there are two other forms you’ll want to review carefully: the mental RFC and the PRTF.
The mental RFC form is Form SSA- 4734-F4-SUP: Mental Residual Functional Capacity Assessment. Ask the following questions as you review your mental RFC.
- Did the medical consultant ignore symptoms and limitations for the type of mental disorder you have?
- Did the MC attribute to you mental abilities you do not haveâsuch as the ability to complete tasks in a timely manner?
- Did the MC agree with your treating doctor’s evaluation? If not, the MC should provide an explanation on the RFC form explaining why your doctor’s recommendations were not used.
Psychiatric Review Technique Form
- incorrect dates
- incorrect diagnosis of your mental condition, and
- statements that contradict those of your treating psychiatrist or psychologist.
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I Have Been Diagnosed With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Can I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits Disability Insurance Benefits Or Supplemental Security Income Benefits
Receiving a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is just the start of a possible disability claim. The main focus in a Social Security disability claim is usually on the symptoms you experience from COPD and how those symptoms affect your ability to engage in physical and mental work-related activities full-time that is, eight hours per day, five days per week.
The term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease refers to any of the chronic diseases involving an obstructed airflow to or from the lungs. The obstruction may be due to the inflammation of pulmonary tubes or of the air sacs in the lungs, caused by factors like cigarette smoke, dust, and chemical fumes.
The most common examples of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These diseases may be life-threatening in certain cases and may also lead to complications such as lung cancer.
What Are Ssdi Benefits
SSDI benefits are unique to each person and are based upon your average lifetime earnings, with a maximum benefit amount that is adjusted each year. In 2020, the cap was $3,011 for 2021, the cap is $3,148.
The number of work credits earned will not impact the Social Security disability benefits you can receivework credits are only a factor in your eligibility to qualify for SSDI. If you are eligible for SSDI, your benefits will also not take into account the severity of your disability or how much income you currently have. The only exception to this is if the combination SSDI and any other disability benefit or income you receive exceeds 80% of what SSA considers your average current earnings based on their formulas.
Most SSDI recipients receive between $800 and $1,800 per monththe average for 2021 is $1,277.
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Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
Pulmonary Function Tests And Social Security Disability
Pulmonary function tests are noninvasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The results from this test can help show the SSA that your COPD is severe enough that it will force you to be out of work for at least 12 months.
There are a couple of pulmonary function tests that can help show the severity of your COPD. If just one of these tests shows a severe limitation in lung function, then you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. These tests include:
- Spirometry Test: A spirometer is a device with a mouthpiece hooked up to a small electronic machine. This measures your lungs ability to expel air when you breathe. Its determined using FEV value, or forced expiratory volume
- Plethysmography Test: Shows how much air is in your lungs after you take in a deep breath. Its used to compare your lung function with known standards that show how well your lungs should be working.
These pulmonary function tests can help measure and show the affects and severity of your COPD. If you are applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with COPD, having these tests to include with your application can really help show the SSA that your COPD is so severe and that you can no longer work.
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Is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease A Disability
Though COPD is typically treatable, it often does not show symptoms until significant pulmonary damage has occurred. Watch out for signs such as shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, chronic coughing, lack of energy, and a bluish tinge on the lips or fingernails.
Before you can receive disability benefits, the Social Security Administration uses a five-step process to decide if you are disabled.
Step 1. Are you earning with a gainful activity?
At the first step, SSA considers your work activity. If you are engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity ,you will not be found disabled. The amount you must earn to be working at SGA changes each year. For 2018, it is $1,180 per month if you are not blind and $1,970 per month if you are blind. If you are working, and your earnings average more than the SGA limit, then you will not be found disabled. If you are not working, or your earnings are less than SGA, the process proceeds to Step 2 where your COPD and any other physical or mental conditions are considered.
Step 2. Is your COPD severe?
For SSA to determine that you are disabled, your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities such as sitting standing walking lifting carrying understanding, remembering, and carrying out simple instructions making simple work-related decisions responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers, and work stress and dealing with changes in a routine work setting.