You’ve had asthma your entire life, but over the past few months your ability to breathe has become worse. Any change in temperature, smell, or air pressure brings on an attack. It’s to the point where you’re not sure you can continue doing your job.

The added stress of losing your job is actually making matters worse as you attempt to hide your symptoms and overuse your inhalers in order to get through the work day. You’re not sure how much longer you can keep it up, but you know it won’t last forever. What can you do? You need a paycheck to survive, but breathing is essential.

Your doctor suggested that you take an extended sick leave to try and give your lungs a rest, but your boss told you that if you leave, you may not be able to come back. You’ve thought about disability, and even filled out an application, but you’re not quite sure how to prove that you can’t work.

How can you prove to the Social Security Administration that your asthma is prohibiting you from being able to work?

Establishing Your Respiratory Disability

In order for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine your eligibility for disability benefits you must be able to provide medical evidence to support your respiratory claim. This evidence must provide sufficient enough detail to permit an independent reviewer to evaluate the severity and determine whether or not it is severe enough to be considered an impairment. In the eyes of the SSA, disability can only be granted if your affliction is considered severe enough to completely prevent you from being able to do any type of gainful activity.

When it comes to respiratory issues, the SSA requires several types of documentation, evidential proof, and testimonies to make sure that your particular issue is severe enough to fulfill disability requirements. Since respiratory problems can result in cardiac problems, both the respiratory and circulatory system needs to be evaluated. In addition to doctors’ reports, test results, and specialist opinions denoting severity, the SSA also requires evidence that shows that your impairment has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

Once you’ve completed your application, the SSA—with your permission—can help you get the necessary medical reports from your own medical sources. These should include:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination reports
  • Chest x-rays or other appropriate respiratory images
  • Angiograph results – Specific images of arteries, veins and heart chambers
  • Pulmonary function test results
  • Spirometric pulmonary function test results – Measurements of how much and how quickly you can move air out of your lungs
  • Arterial blood gas panels

Securing Your Records to Secure Your Disability

Although the SSA can help assist you with acquiring some of this evidence, they will still leave it up to you to make sense of it all and file it correctly. This is why it is important to not only have help accessing it, but also streamlining it into your disability application. That’s where we come in. An experienced disability lawyer can help take the confusion, work, and delay out of applying, filing, and even hearing back from the SSA panel.

We know what makes a strong disability claim, and we won’t let you waste your time by filing incomplete records, or allow you to be denied because of a missing report. Contact us today to get the helping hand you need to get the benefits you deserve. The consultation is free, but having the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re in good hands—is priceless.

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Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Natick, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer