Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers: Cystic Fibrosis

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary disease that attacks the lungs by creating thick mucus that can make breathing difficult and increases the chances of serious lung infections. Symptoms can include a wet, productive cough, high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension. In extreme cases, children and young adults with CF can die from pulmonary or heart failure when the excess mucus in the lungs causes extreme breathing issues.

CF can also prevent patients from being able to absorb important nutrients. When excessive mucus is present in the lungs, the body is unable to get the proper nutrition from the food that is being consumed. CF patients can also lose important minerals through their sweat. Other problems like sleep apnea can also negatively affect the overall health of patients suffering from this disease.

Qualifying for Benefits

Unfortunately, as patients with CF get older, the lung infections and breathing difficulties tend to become more severe. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will automatically approve benefits for patients suffering from CF whose lung infections and poor lung function has been proven by a spirometry test.

In order to qualify for automatic approval of benefits, one of the following must be true:

  • Poor breathing test: A spirometry test must show an FEV1 range of 1.45 to 2.05, depending on patient’s height. FEV1 measures the amount of air you can exhale in one second.
  • Pulmonary exacerbations: This includes episodes of coughing up blood, pneumonia, bronchitis or respiratory failure that requires medical attention. A patient must have experienced an episode every other month or a minimum of six times per year.
  • Chronic infections: Patients must have had a chronic lung infection with increased bacterial infections recurring at least once every six months. The infection must require antibacterial treatment via I.V. or by nebulizer.

If a patient does not meet these requirements, it is still possible to get disability benefits. If your doctor has restricted you from performing specific tasks like lifting a certain amount of weight, avoiding extreme temperatures, dust and fumes, or requires you to have percussion therapy or nebulization on a daily or weekly basis, this limits the types of jobs that you can perform. The SSA will review your restrictions and compile a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment and determine whether there is any work that you can realistically be expected to perform considering your limitations. If not, you will receive disability benefits.

Disability Programs

There are two disability programs that are available to patients with CP. The benefits a patient receives will depend on certain factors.

  • SSDI Benefits: To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked a certain number of years and paid into the Social Security system. The number of years worked will depend on the patient’s age.
  • SSI Benefits: Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income benefits will depend on your income and assets. If you have too much, you will not qualify.

Maryland Social Security Disability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Clients Obtain SSDI and SSI Benefits

If you have been unable to work due to the debilitating symptoms of cystic fibrosis, contact the experienced, compassionate Maryland Social Security disability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton so that we may discuss your case and help you get the financial benefits you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to assist those who have been denied Social Security benefits throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.