In many cases, people seek disability benefits which tend to revolve around some type of breathing impairment. There are different categories which are evaluated for people with breathing difficulties. The most common breathing disorder is probably Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency. In order to get disability because of shortness of breath, the first order of business is to ascertain exactly what type of breathing disorder, if any, a person might have. Although people may be short of breath, these same symptoms can be brought on by something other than Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency such as:
- CARDIAC DIFFICULTIES
- IMPAIRMENT OF THE LUNGS
- CYSTIC FIBROSIS
- MYCOBACTERIAL, MYCOTIC or OTHER PERSISTENT INFECTIONS
- PULMONARY HYPERTENSION
- COR PURMONALE
- SLEEP APNEA/SLEEP RELATED BREATHING DISORDERS
A lung transplant, according to the Social Security Regulations, qualifies a person immediately for disability and for a minimum of twelve months post surgery. Often breathing disorders, like the ones listed above, are complicated by other problems which often form a significant or dominant portion of a claimant’s disability case.
The following common tests are often used to evaluate breathing disorders:
1. Pulmonary Function Test (PFT): The Pulmonary Function Test normally measures the actual lung volume or elasticity in the lungs. There are two values that are critical in part when these Pulmonary Function Tests are performed, the FEV1 and the FVC values. Social Security has a chart calibrated depending upon a person’s height. If the FEV1 or FVC values are less than the stated values in the chart, the person is presentably disabled. However, just because the values might be above the stated values does not mean one does not have a valid disability claim. This simply means the breathing impairment does not meet the obstructive or restrictive values as shown by the Pulmonary Function Test. Often, these values can be combined with other issues to show that a claimant is no longer capable of being gainfully employed.
2. Arterial Blood Gas Test: The Arterial Blood Gas Test measures the amount of oxygen which actually reaches the bloodstream. It is entirely possibly to have a normal or near normal Pulmonary Function Test but do very poorly on an Arterial Blood Gas Test. This is particularly true where there has been some type of obstructive or erosive process in the lungs which affect or destroy the ability of the alveoli to absorb oxygen and transmit it to the blood. There are many conditions which can cause this including scarring, Silicosis, Asbestosis, or a condition which actually disrupts the lining of the lungs.
If you or someone you know struggles with breathing disorders that are disabling, CALL Drummond Disability NOW, 800-842-0426.