Respiratory System Disorders

Massachusetts Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits Attorneys

The Massachusetts disability lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are dedicated to obtaining SSDI benefits for people suffering from respiratory system disorders and other health issues. Our Boston office serves those who cannot return to work due to a medical impairment. We maximize compensation for injured workers in areas including, but not limited to, Boston, Essex County, Plymouth County, Norfolk County, Middlesex County, Suffolk County, and the Merrimack River area. Our attorneys also represent injured workers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

Disorders of the Respiratory System

Section 3 of the Social Security Act covers impairments resulting from respiratory disorders. The federal Social Security Act applies to individuals in the Commonwealth through Massachusetts General Laws (MGLs). MGL c. 151B, §1, for example, prohibits discrimination based on a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Medical disorders that severely limit respiratory function are listed as some of the most common disabilities qualifying for SSDI benefits. Respiratory system disorders may involve:

  • Breathing disorders
  • Asthma, sleep apnea
  • Chronic lung infections
  • Excessive mucous/phlegm
  • Constricted bronchial tubes
  • Allergic, pathogenic reaction
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Pneumoconiosis, bronchiectasis
  • Chronic pulmonary hypertension

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) generally describes lung disorders that result in chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Like asthma, inflammation obstructs airflow through the lungs and makes it hard to breath. In fact, patients that suffer asthma attacks are 12 times more likely to develop COPD, which can worsen over time. Chronic respiratory impairments severe enough to restrict substantial gainful activity are “listed” as medically determinable disorders that may qualify for SSDI benefits after a sequential evaluation process.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to automatically qualify for disability benefits, the claimant must meet the Social Security Administration’s disability listing requirements for respiratory disorders. Criteria for these “listings” are set forth in the Administration’s “blue book,” which requires proof of the condition’s severity, duration, and treatment. Acceptable medical evidence may include:

  • Repeated asthma attacks
  • Respiratory arrest, failure
  • Emergency room treatment
  • Intravenous bronchial dilation
  • Arterial blood gas study results
  • Triggering occupational pollution
  • Required forced expiatory volume
  • Recorded treatment and compliance
  • Spirometric tests: airflow obstruction

Respiratory episodes with exacerbations of asthma, cystic fibrosis, or COPD meet the required level of impairment if they are expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months, preventing gainful activity. Patents with prolonged respiratory failure lasting one or more days and requiring intensive treatment must show compliance with the prescribed treatment regimen.

Job Restrictions

Those who are not eligible under the disability listing may still receive disability if the Administration determines that the claimant’s respiratory disorder severely limits regular employment. This means that the claimant retains “residual functional capacity” to work, but is medically restricted from heavy exertion or working around occupational triggers. These restrictions may prevent former duties or future employment and thereby qualify for disability.

Recover SSDI Benefits

If you suffer from a respiratory disorder that limits substantial gainful activity for at least 1 year, the Massachusetts social security disability attorneys of Kantrovitz & Associates can help. We have over 25 years of experience recovering compensation for workers with asthma, bronchitis, COPD, and sleep apnea. We have successfully represented numerous individuals with varying degrees of impairment, from shortness of breath to severe disorders requiring lung transplants. Call (800) 367-0871 today for a free consultation or contact us online.