Respiratory Disorders

Representatives of the Social Security Administration (SSA) use the Blue Book as their guideline for determining whether a person’s disabling condition is considered serious enough to merit complete disability. The Blue Book is divided into sections which cover the various body systems and functions. The third section in the Blue Book covers respiratory system disorders.

When determining disability claims based on respiratory impairments, the SSA considers how long you have had the condition, how long the condition is expected to last, what types of treatments have been or could be attempted, and what your response to treatment has been. It is important that you continue receiving medical treatment during the disability claims process and that you continue to follow all prescribed treatments. Learn more

Respiratory system disorders include:

  • asthma
  • COPD
  • chronic bronchitis
  • emphysema
  • pulmonary fibrosis\pneumoconiosis
  • cystic fibrosis
  • bronchiectasis
  • chronic pulmonary hypertension

These disorders can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, wheezing, sputum production, coughing resulting in production of blood and tachypnea.

The respiratory disorders must result in significant impairment of one’s breathing as measured on pulmonary function tests, such as spirometry (ventilation of the lungs), DLCO tests (gas diffusion in the lungs) ABG tests (partial pressure of oxygen, PaO2, and carbon dioxide, PaCO2, in the arterial blood), and pulse oximetry (oxygen saturation, SpO2, of peripheral blood hemoglobin).

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