COPD is a common lung disease, causing shortness of breath, excessive mucus, and frequent respiratory infections. Often, individuals with COPD have difficulty carrying on their day-to-day activities, including work. If you or a loved one has COPD, you may be wondering if you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits. The answer will primarily depend on whether your condition is serious enough to meet several requirements.

The Five Criteria

In order to receive Social Security Disability Insurance for COPD, you will need to meet five criteria:

  1. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to determine if you are working (or “engaging in a substantial gainful activity”). Generally, SSA considers your work substantial if you are receiving more than $1,000.00 per month as an employee.
  2. The level of COPD must be serious enough to impair or seriously limit your ability to perform work activities, such as standing, sitting, speaking, and carrying out simple instructions.
  3. You must be diagnosed with COPD, which is known as an impairment of the respiratory system, medical listing 3.02. The Social Security Administration will review your medical records in order to determine the level of the disease and the restriction of your breathing.
  4. SSA will explore the possibility of doing work the claimant has done in the past. For instance, if many years ago you were employed as a receptionist and you are still able to perform that job, you will likely be denied benefits.
  5. SSA will look at the person’s work experience, age, and education to assess what, if any, work can be performed.