You know that your medical condition due to asthma will surely affect your day-to-day activities and will limit your ability to do work as you did previously. However, do you know that if your asthma limits your ability to do work and you meet SSA’s criteria you may get approved for disability benefits. 

People who applied for asthma disability benefits got approved in 2022 as 244,399 people in 2021. In further sections, you will get to know whether your asthma qualifies for disability, how SSA defines asthma, and whether you should apply for asthma based on your work experience and medical condition. 

My Asthma Is Accompanied By Back Pain. Will I Qualify For Disability?

Many people who struggle with asthma may also experience some additional injuries such as back pain. Yes, in such cases, they may qualify for Social Security disability benefits on the condition that asthma makes it difficult for them to walk for long and back pain makes it impossible to lift things. Here is an overview of which conditions may automatically qualify you for benefits

Is Asthma A Disability?

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 in your claim for asthma disability if your medical condition meets the criteria for a disability under the SSA or the ADA. 

Can You Get Disability Benefits 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. More than 8.3 million of Americans struggle with breathlessness and asthma. The annual mortality rate is 13.3 per million adults for Asthma disability.(Trusted Source in the U.S) 

If your asthma can be controlled by the use of medication your asthma will not meet the eligibility criteria of the SSA. You need to prove to the SSA that your asthma must meet the medical criteria and other criteria mentioned in the Blue Book. 

The chances of benefits approval will increase if some pulmonologist is treating your medical impairment. Taking help from a disability lawyer will also make the entire journey easier.   

What is SSA’s Definition Of Asthma?

Asthma refers to a long term condition in which the airways tend to get narrow and swell due to cold air, dust, and exercise. 

Some people may experience minor inconvenience whereas others may go through extreme shortness of breath and sensitivity to temperature and humidity. The latter falls into the SSA’s definition of asthma.  

What Is An Asthma Attack?

An asthma attack happens when the muscles across your airways tighten and creates bronchospasm. When this occurs the lung airways lining will become inflated and will produce more mucus.  

It will also be thicker than normal. Owing to the combination of all these factors, asthma attacks will happen and will have trouble breathing.  It is a type of lung disease that can significantly affect the health of an individual. 

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma is a complex respiratory condition with multifactorial origins. Genetic predisposition plays a significant role, as individuals with a family history of asthma or other allergic conditions are more prone to developing the condition. 

Various environmental factors also contribute, as exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander, as well as air pollutants and irritants, can trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms. 

Common 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.

How Can You Medically Qualify For Asthma Disability Benefits?

To qualify for disability benefits for asthma, you need to provide them the SSA with medical records for consecutive 12 months. It will show how long and how often you were admitted to hospital due to your asthma attacks. It will further show your history of your asthma disorder.

Eligibility Criteria For Getting Disability With Asthma

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.

Along with these, your asthma may be eligible for benefits if you meet any of the following conditions:

The air you are exhaling during a forced breath is below or at the approved level of the SSA or hospitalized three times in 1 year and hospitalization has been occuring at least 30 days and lasting for at least 48 hours. 

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. 

What Happens If My Asthma Meets The Criteria?

If your asthma meets the criteria mentioned in the SSA’s Blue Book, you must apply as soon as possible. The applicants think that the application process is complicated and they will not qualify for the benefits. 

Apply if you satisfy the following conditions:

  • You can apply if you are not working owing to your extreme medical impairment such as 24 hour oxygen or multiple hospitalizations. 
  • If an applicant is over 50 and you are unable to do the work you used to do previously, you may be found to be eligible. 

You must apply later or wait if the doctor suggests that your asthma will get better with treatment or you haven’t stopped working completely.

You must not apply at all if you are able to control your asthma through proper medications or if you are earning more than $1,550 every month. 

What Happens If You Do Not Meet The SSA’s Eligibility Criteria For Asthma?

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

You can file an appeal and include additional information and medical evidence by taking help from an experienced disability attorney. 

Child Care Programs For Asthma

Children struggling with asthma must create an Asthma Action Plan at the childcare center. All the staff members must also receive a copy of the file. The Action Plan refers to a written plan that will help control asthma. The plan is developed by the healthcare provider for the parents.

How Do I Prove My Asthma Is A Disability?

When you file your asthma long-term disability claim, SSA will need diagnosis and symptoms of the disorder. There may be different evidence that will help to prove your claim. It includes diagnosis proof, medical records, and other documents.

  • Proof of Asthma Diagnosis

The SSA may require asthma diagnosis that will prove your long-term disability claim. For that you need to consult a doctor that will perform a physical examination and will confirm your diagnosis. 

Proving asthma as a disability typically involves medical documentation and assessments. A healthcare professional, such as a pulmonologist, can provide detailed reports outlining the severity, frequency of symptoms, and the impact on daily life. 

  • Physical Exam

The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, health issues and medical history. This will require a physical exam to prove your respiratory infection.

  • Lung Function Measurements

If the physical examination is not enough, the doctor may do further tests such as lung functioning tests that will determine how much air is able to move when you breathe. 

In addition to the above testing, other tests to diagnose asthma include:

  • Mеthасhоlіnе challenge
  • Sputum еоѕіnорhіlѕ
  • Nitric oxide test
  • Imaging tests
  • Allergy testing
  • Provocative testing for exercise and cold-induced asthma

If the spirometry and peak flow tests suggest that you are struggling with asthma, these additional tests can help confirm the diagnosis of your disability. 

SSDI vs. SSI with Asthma

Applying for the appropriate disability benefit program is essential as it will increase your chances of approval. Therefore, people who have worked for at least 5 of the last 10 years and have paid their taxes are eligible for  Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI for asthma

People who have little assets and income can apply for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) for asthma as it will be a better choice for them. 

How Do I Apply For Asthma Disability Benefits?

The process for applying for disability benefits due to asthma typically involves the following steps:

  • Understand Eligibility Requirements: You must know the eligibility criteria of the SSA before applying for the disability benefits. 
  • Gather Medical Documentation: Collect medical records, test results, doctor’s notes, and any other relevant documentation which will support your diagnosis of asthma. 
  • Complete Application Forms: Fill out the necessary forms required by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This might include forms specific to asthma or general disability application forms.
  • Provide Supporting Evidence: Include all relevant medical records, test results, and statements from doctors that demonstrate the impact of asthma on your daily life and ability to work. 
  • Submit Your Application: Send your completed application along with supporting documents to the SSA. Make sure to follow their guidelines for submission carefully.
  • Follow Up: After submitting your disability application, follow up with the SSA to ensure they have received all necessary documents. 

You Can Apply If Your Answers To The Following Questions Is “YES”

  • Are you being hospitalized frequently?
  • Do you need the use of oxygen?
  • Are you consulting a pulmonologist?
  • Does your work cause fatigue and makes it difficult for you?
  • If your asthma is being triggered by your work?

Does the ADA Apply To People With Asthma And Allergies?

In 2008, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) was amended that will include the definition of disabled. Disabling conditions that only show some symptoms may not be included. 

Asthma and allergies may be appropriate for the definition of disability. Therefore, the ADA protects the claimants having asthma and allergies if they struggle with attacks when being triggered. 

The ADA borrows from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. According to this Rehabilitation Act, programs, agencies, and services that will get federal money will be unable to discriminate on the basis of their disability when it comes to education and jobs. These places will be accessible by people who are struggling with such disabilities.

How Many People Have Asthma?

Approximately 339 million people worldwide were estimated to have asthma, according to the Global Asthma Report. However, these numbers may have changed, and it’s advisable to refer to more recent sources for the latest statistics on asthma prevalence.

How Much Is A Disability Check For Asthma?

The amount of asthma disability check 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 for SSDI is $3,627 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.

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

Helpful Links That Will Help You in Your Asthma Disability Benefits 

Disability Conditions That May Qualify For Benefits

Blindness Brain Tumor AFIB Autism
BPD Cancer Narcolepsy PTSD
Vertigo Schizophrenia Seizure Dyslexia
Celiac Disease Anxiety Depression ADHD
Agoraphobia Alopecia Asthma Bipolar
Breast Cancer Dementia Dysautonomia Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia Hearing Loss lupus POTS
Scoliosis Sleep Apnea Diabetes