It has been our experience here at Steppacher Law that a great deal of misinformation exists about Social Security Disability benefits and the people who are awarded them. Many might think that if you are seeking such benefits due to illness that it is simply because you tend to be prone to sickness. Yet one cannot secure such benefits by claiming that they are too sick to work. Indeed, a clinical diagnosis is required to qualify for SSD, along with certain exacerbating conditions that make it difficult for you to perform the normal functions of a job.
Respiratory illnesses are among the major contributors to impairments that prove to be disabling. Even something as seemingly minor as asthma might make it difficult for you to work. Of course, you simply having asthma may not qualify you for disability benefits. Rather, you must meet the case standards established by the Social Security Administration.
In the case of asthma, those standards depend on your Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1). If you are over the age of 20, your FEV1 must be less than the following ranges (broken down by height) in order for you to qualify:
- Between 5’ and 5’2”: 1.55 for females, 1.75 for males
- Between 5’2” and 5’4”: 1.65 for females, 1.90 for males
- Between 5’4” and 5’5.5”: 1.75 for females, 2.00 for males
- Between 5’5” and 5’7”: 1.85 for females, 2.15 for males
- Between 5’7” and 5’9”: 2.00 for females, 2.30 for males
- Between 5’9” and 6’: 2.10 for females, 2.45 for males
Anyone taller than 6’ must have an FEV1 lower than 2.20 for females, 2.55 for males in order to qualify.
Additionally, your asthma must be serious enough for you to have required three separate hospitalizations over the last 12 months in order to qualify for disability benefits. More information on qualifying for disability due to illness can be found throughout our site.