A diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is never good news. And for some, it can become a disability that makes it impossible to continue working. The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability program includes COPD in its “Listing of Impairments,” making it a qualifying condition for New England SSA disability benefits.
What is COPD?
COPD is a progressive disease of the lungs. It is chronic and continuously grows more serious as time goes on. However, it is a disease that is successfully managed by many sufferers, and the sooner you seek medical treatment, the better.
Of the many lung diseases, COPD is one of the most common. COPD actually encompasses both emphysema and chronic asthmatic bronchitis. Both of these conditions block the exhale airflow, cause permanent lung damage, and eventually make it difficult to breathe.
Why is it Difficult to Breath with COPD?
With normal breathing, the air sacs in your lungs fill with air when you take a breath and deflate when you breathe out. But this airflow is slowed by COPD, for the following reasons:
- The elasticity of the air sacs is damaged.
- The walls that separate the sacs are damaged.
- The airway walls become thicker and are inflamed.
- These airways become clogged with mucus.
COPD Linked To Long-Term Smoking
COPD affects people throughout the world and is mainly caused by long-term smoking, although rarely non-smokers get it and smokers don’t. Exposure to chemical fumes and dust can also contribute. This disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
Most COPD victims are 40 years old or older when diagnosed, but it occasionally occurs in younger people as well. Because of the progressive nature of COPD, it can become a disability for many sufferers.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, there may come a time when working is no longer an option. If this has happened, then it is a good idea to look into applying for disability in Massachusetts.
Consult a Disability Attorney
The disability experts at Keefe Disability Law can advise you from the very start of the process through the day you receive your first SSA disability benefit check. Just give us a call toll free at 888-904-6847 or fill out the simple, confidential form on this page. We have helped many others just like you.