Asthma

You can receive Social Security Disability Benefits for asthma in Minnesota.  Social Security evaluates whether you have a diagnosis of asthma.  If so, Social Security determines how severe it is.  If you are struggling with asthma, our attorneys at Hoglund Law Offices have some recommendations to help you get approved.  Some are below.

Tell your doctor about all your asthma symptoms.

Successful Social Security claims begin with accurate medical treatment notes.  Your doctor can’t treat you for what you don’t tell him or her.  Your doctor needs details about what symptoms you have and when you have them.  For example, how often do you have attacks?  How severe are they?  How long do they last?  Does medicine help?  How long does it take to help?  What kinds of things are you doing when these attacks occur?  Did you need to call an ambulance or visit an ER for any of them?  When?

Try to understand what brings on an asthma attack.

Judges ask this question at hearings.  They also ask what you try to do to avoid them day-to-day.  Common triggers of asthma attacks can be related to allergies to such things as pets, dust, and pollen.  Other triggers include weather changes or physical exertion.  Common sense tells you that if pets really cause problems, a judge will wonder why you might still have one.

Follow you doctor’s orders about treatment and medications.

Judges at hearings need to understand that you are going to doctors and following their treatment recommendations.  If you are not, it is hard to distinguish how bad your asthma really should be.  If you have trouble getting treatment or medications, keep trying your best.  A judge may ask what you have tried to do, including going to free clinics, ER’s, and reapplying for state medical insurance if initially turned down.
In our legal experience, ER visits are always important for asthma emergencies, but they are not so good at recording the nature of your ongoing problems.  If you do not avail yourself of available doctor appointments, a judge might assume that the ER visits result from poor compliance.  We find that everyday compliance with treatment will ultimately be granted more weight than emergency room visits.  For a case to be approved, do your best to get and stay as healthy as possible.  This naturally lead to the next advice.

Don’t smoke.

Easier said than done.  But if you have trouble breathing, a judge will assume you don’t smoke or at least cut down greatly on it.  The essential trouble with smoking with asthma is that the judges at hearings sometimes cannot decide how healthier you would be without smoking.  In other words, they may assume you would be better.  Assumptions in any situation are not always scientific or fair, and detract from your limitations.

Get pulmonologist testing.

Specialists are generally held in higher regard by Social Security than general practitioners.  This is the nature of medicine.  Specialist treatment notes and opinions are usually more specific, and their treatment notes likely include a healthy dose of diagnostic testing.
Any pulmonary (breathing) testing, if you can get it, puts your asthma into a more objective light.  Our attorneys at Hoglund Law Offices argue post-brochodilator FEV1 and FVC levels that may meet a definition, or listing, or disability.  In our attorney’s experience, the SSA listing standards for approval through pulmonary function tests is unusually restrictive.  We end up arguing that supportive test results comport with daily limitations on activities due to asthma exacerbations.

For any questions about getting professional help pursuing your Social Security Disability claim, just call Hoglund Law Offices for a free initial consultation.