Yes, Asthma is a disability according to the Americans with Disability Act and Social Security Administration. Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways. When someone has asthma, their airways become inflamed and narrowed, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma can be mild, moderate, or severe.

The SSA’s Blue Book is a guide that lists medical conditions that are considered to be disabilities. Asthma is listed in the Blue Book under the respiratory disorders section. To be considered disabled by asthma, you must have:

  • A diagnosis of asthma from a doctor
  • Symptoms that are severe enough to prevent you from working
  • Medical evidence that shows that your asthma is not likely to improve

If you are unsure whether or not your asthma is a disability, you should talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if your asthma meets the criteria for a disability under the SSA or the ADA.

Types Of Asthma

There are several types of asthma, each with unique characteristics, triggers, and symptoms. Understanding the specific type of asthma you have can help your healthcare provider tailor your treatment plan. Here are some common types of asthma:

  • Allergic asthma: This is the most common type of asthma, triggered by exposure to allergens such as pollen, mold, pet dander, or dust mites. People with allergic asthma often have a family history of allergies or may suffer from other allergic conditions, such as allergic rhinitis or eczema.
  • Non-allergic asthma: Unlike allergic asthma, non-allergic asthma is not triggered by allergens. Instead, it is caused by other factors, such as respiratory infections, cold air, exercise, stress, or exposure to irritants like tobacco smoke or air pollution.
  • Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB): This type of asthma is specifically triggered by physical activity. Symptoms usually occur during or shortly after exercise and may include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
  • Cough-variant asthma: In this type of asthma, the main symptom is a chronic cough, often without other typical asthma symptoms like wheezing or shortness of breath. The cough may be dry or produce mucus and can be triggered by allergens, exercise, or respiratory infections.
  • Occupational asthma: This type of asthma is caused by exposure to specific substances or irritants in the workplace, such as chemicals, dust, or fumes. Occupational asthma may develop in people who had no prior history of asthma, and symptoms usually improve when away from the work environment.
  • Nocturnal asthma: This type of asthma is characterized by worsening symptoms during nighttime hours, often due to factors such as lying down, cooler air, or hormonal changes during sleep.
  • Asthma-COPD overlap: In some cases, individuals may have features of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a separate respiratory condition characterized by progressive airflow limitation and chronic inflammation. Asthma-COPD overlap can be more challenging to manage, and individuals may experience more severe symptoms and exacerbations.

Can You Get Disability For Asthma?

Yes, it is possible to get disability benefits for asthma if the condition is severe enough to significantly impair your ability to work or perform daily activities. You may need to meet the following requirements to be considered eligible:

  • Medical diagnosis: You must have a formal diagnosis of asthma from a qualified healthcare professional, typically a pulmonologist or an allergist/immunologist.
  • Severity of symptoms: Your asthma must be severe enough that it significantly impairs your ability to perform work-related tasks, even with proper treatment and medication. This may include frequent and severe asthma attacks, persistent symptoms, or limitations on physical activity due to shortness of breath.
  • Impact on daily activities: Your asthma must interfere with your ability to perform essential work-related functions or daily living activities, such as walking, lifting, or carrying objects, for an extended period.
  • Medical documentation: You must provide thorough medical documentation of your asthma, including treatment history, medications, frequency and severity of symptoms, and any hospitalizations or emergency room visits due to asthma attacks.
  • Duration: Your asthma must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

In the United States, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a specific listing for asthma in their “Blue Book” of impairments (Listing 3.03). If your condition meets or equals the severity level described in this listing, you may be considered for asthma disability benefits. 

If your asthma does not meet these criteria, you might still qualify for benefits if your overall health and functional limitations prevent you from performing any work.

It is essential to consult with a Social security disability attorney who can guide you through the process and provide advice specific to your situation and the regulations in your country or jurisdiction.

How much is a disability check for asthma?

The amount of a disability check for asthma varies depending on the severity of the condition and the person’s work history. The average monthly benefit for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases is $1,356.10 in 2023. However, the maximum monthly benefit is $3,627 with SSDI and $914 with SSI.

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have a medical condition that meets the criteria in the SSA’s Blue Book. Asthma is listed in the Blue Book under the respiratory disorders section. You must also have a work history that shows that you have been unable to work for at least 12 months due to your medical condition.