Asthma is a lifelong, chronic respiratory disease that can debilitate a person and cause occupational distress or even unemployment. Social Security is available to help pay for or supplement income in the case of severe disability. There are two types of Social Security benefits available; disability (SSD) and supplemental security income (SSI). The following article will walk through the process of applying for either benefit.
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Things you need
- Medical records
- Birth certificate or proof of birth
- Naturalisation papers (if applicable)
- U.S. Military discharge papers (if applicable)
- W-2 forms or self-employment taxes for last year
- Bank information
Determine if you are applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSD is for you and certain family members if you've worked long enough and paid previous social security taxes. SSI is benefits paid for adults and children with limited income or resources.
Answer and gather documentation from doctors if possible about the following information: does your asthma significantly limit your ability to walk, stand, sit, lift, push, pull, reach for, carry or handle objects? Is your seeing, hearing and speaking limited?
Answer and provide evidence if your asthma prevents you from understanding or carrying out and remembering simple instructions. Can you respond appropriately to supervision, co-workers, usual work situations and dealing with changes in a routine work setting due to your asthma? This can be documented from a doctor, psychologist or even your work supervisor.
Collect and submit hospital or doctor documentation if, despite controlling your asthma with medications, you have had more than one attack every two months or six attacks in a single year. If you were hospitalised for over a 24 hour period, this will count as two attacks.
Gather the required documents in one place as you will need them to fill out the rest of the forms for disability.
Fill out either the adult or child disability worksheets. For an adult there is also a work history section. These can be filled out online, by mail or phone. These forms will describe the medical condition and authorise social security to disclose any information given.
Clearly fill out the separate application form for either disability or supplemental income online, or by mail.
Tips and warnings
- While not required, getting a lawyer or advocate to help support your case may be advised as many disability forms are rejected for improper filling out of forms or lack of evidence provided.
- Make a copy of each form that you fill out and record what date you mailed or filled them out online. Keep them for your own records.
- Original documents must be submitted, but will be returned to you. Therefore it is advised to make copies if you will need them while waiting to hear an answer on your file.
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