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COPD is affecting my employment. Can SSDI help?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a breathing condition, which often results from a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. A majority of COPD cases are caused by smoking tobacco. However, outsides pollutants may contribute to the condition. Unfortunately, the damage caused to the airway in COPD cases is often irreparable. In most cases, the condition does not respond to treatment.

Symptoms of COPD include chronic wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain. Often, these symptoms are exacerbated by stress or physical exhaustion. When the condition is at its worst, it can affect your ability to perform meaningful work or retain gainful employment.

Smoking can harm your Social Security Disability claim

If you suffer from COPD, the first step is to stop smoking. While existing damage cannot be repaired, you may be able to prevent further airway harm by quitting. Moreover, smoking not only affects your health, but it can also compromise your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim, as well. If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits because of COPD, you should ensure you are getting regular treatment from a physician and following all relevant recommendations from your medical professional.

Meet with a legal professional

After you have met with a physician, your next step is to retain a Social Security Disability lawyer. A legal advocate can help guide you through the process. Most SSDI claims are initially denied because the application is not thorough enough. All requisite materials and information must be included before the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines whether you qualify for benefits. Unless your physician has significant experience with disability cases, reports and papers may not be sufficient. An attorney can help. If your claim has already been denied, you may appeal the decision with the help of a lawyer.

Physical and sedentary work

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can make it difficult to perform physical work. Because the condition is worsened by physical exertion, those who suffer from it may find they are unable to continue working arduous jobs. The SSA will examine your previous employment opportunities and positions over the past 15 years. This will help the agency determine whether you are physically capable of returning to work.

Sedentary work can be difficult with COPD, too. Most deskbound work requires six hours or more of focus, as well as fine motor skills. While COPD may not directly affect your ability to focus or work diligently, in severe cases, COPD symptoms have been triggered by stress that frequently accompanies office work. Therefore, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if you are unable to complete desk work.

To find out more about COPD in relation to Social Security Disability benefits, speak with a local professional.

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