Even with the many treatment options available, asthma can still be a debilitating disease. It can even prevent some asthma sufferers from working. The Social Security Administration recognises asthma as a disability and as such it may provide disability payments. However, there are certain guidelines that have to be met to demonstrate that the asthma sufferer has chronic asthma and/or frequent attacks.
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Social Security Disability Evaluation
When Social Security is considering an individual for disability, there are three initial criteria that must be met before proceeding. The first condition is that the person can no longer perform the work he did before the onset, or the worsening, of asthma. Second, a Social Security representative must find that the individual cannot change his line of work because of the disease. Third, the asthma must have persisted, or be expected to persist, for at least one year. This last criteria can also be met if the asthma may result in death. After the criteria are met, an individual can proceed with a claim.
Social Security may ask a person with asthma, "Are you working?" If she is currently employed with earnings that total more than £637 a month, then she may not be eligible for disability payments.
The next question Social Security will ask is, "Is the condition severe?" Social Security defines severe as an asthma disability such that it significantly limits an individual's ability to perform basic work activities for most jobs. These types of things would include standing or walking as well as hearing and speaking.
Asthma must meet the criteria spelt out in the Social Security guidelines. The presence of chronic asthmatic bronchitis and/or asthma attacks must require a doctor's care at least once every two months or six times a year.
Required Medical Examination
Chronic asthmatic bronchitis generally can cause the irreversible loss of pulmonary function. As a result, a medical history and a physical exam, including a chest X-ray, as well as other tests are required to document the loss of function.
Frequency of Asthma Attacks
Frequent asthma attacks may make an individual eligible for disability. However, it is specified that these are attacks that, despite using prescribed treatment, are severe enough to require a doctor's care. In addition, these attacks must occur at least once every two months or at least six times a year. Attacks are defined as asthmatic episodes lasting one or more days and requiring intensive treatment in a hospital or emergency room.
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