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Does Your Child Qualify for Disability Benefits as a Result of His Asthma?


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11/16/2016
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Doctor administering inhaler to childAsthma is a condition that has become more common in children and young adults in recent years. This respiratory malady is a chronic disorder that causes episodes of swelling in the airways, blocking oxygen flow. Depending on the amount of inflammation present, the effects of these episodes, or asthma attacks, can cause wheezing, chest pain, dizziness, loss of consciousness, hypoxia, brain damage, and even death. In most cases, asthma attacks are triggered by allergens, exercise, anxiety, or nervousness. As a result, the Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies asthma as a disabling condition for both adults and children.

Qualifying for Disability for Childhood Asthma

Considering how asthma can significantly disrupt a child’s way of life, preventing him from playing, socializing, and even getting an education—depending on his respiratory triggers—the SSA will approve severe cases for disability. However, consideration is based on a case-by-case basis and requires specific criteria to be met. When applying for disability for your child, your claim must show the following:

  • Financial need. Children can get supplemental security income for their disability only if they meet specific income requirements and have few financial resources. Depending on the age of the child, a working income may not be applicable. However, the child’s parental income and resources may be considered when deciding whether a child is eligible for financial aid. The 2016 income limit is $733 per individual; however, this amount can change based on cost of living adjustments each year.
  • Presence of the condition. The SSA only evaluates childhood asthma claims that can prove the claimant suffers from a severe respiratory disorder, resulting in the obstruction or restriction of air in or out of the lungs. To prove the presence of your child’s condition, you’ll need doctor’s reports, copies of medical reports, and expert witness statements that verify the condition.
  • Severity of the condition. Mild asthma or isolated attacks are not enough to warrant disability. For the SSA to consider benefit approval, your child must demonstrate frequent and severe symptoms that keep him from living a full life. According to SSA evaluation guidelines, for consideration, a claimant’s asthma must be severe enough to:
    • Require medical attention at least six times a year
    • Promote attacks in spite of medication use
    • Cause lung damage
    • Provoke low-grade wheezing between attacks
  • Level of functional limitation. Functional limitations address how your child’s asthma physically affects his quality of life. Does it keep him from performing daily activities? Does it limit his socializing abilities? For approval, you must be able to justify the claim by verifying that your child’s asthma notably limits his ability to function in one of the following areas:
    • Obtaining and using information accurately
    • Completing tasks (both physical and mental)
    • Socializing with others
    • Moving around, manipulating objects, and maintaining an active lifestyle
    • Taking care of himself and his personal needs independently

Verifying Your Claim to Pursue Benefit Approval

Disability claims require a lot of preparation, evidence, and follow-through to be successful. Approval depends on your ability to convince the disability board that your child and family need disability aid for survival and to live a fulfilling life. If the board decides that the claim insufficiently proves that your child’s asthma meets the eligibility criteria, they will deny the claim.

Need more information on how to pursue a compelling claim for your child? Request your complimentary copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process. Here you’ll find all you need to know to navigate your way through the disability process labyrinth. For a more direct approach, contact our office today to see how we can help you build a compelling disability claim. You can also call us at 508-283-5500, to allow attorney John L. Keefe to provide you with the resources, guidance, and support you need to secure your family’s future.



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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law

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