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Social Security Disability Definitions

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Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals

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Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

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Facts about Bronchiectasis and Filing for Disability

1. Bronchiectasis is an obstructive lung disease in which the affected bronchi are inflamed and easily collapse. Collapsed bronchi restrict airflow and ability to clear liquids such as mucus.

2. Bronchiectasis may be congenital or acquired. Congenital bronchiectasis implies that the condition develops due to damage while in the womb, and is a defect the patient is born with. Acquired bronchiectasis implies that other conditions and environmental factors cause the condition to develop.

3. Bronchiectasis is a condition that may be acquired through infections such as tuberculosis, staph, whooping cough and the measles, as well disorders such as cystic fibrosis, Young's syndrome and HIV/AIDS.

4. Bronchiectasis may also develop from allergies and inhaling toxic gases like ammonia. Lifestyle choices such as excessive alcohol and drug use may cause bronchiectasis. Cigarette smoking seems to increase risk, but it is currently not a known cause of bronchiectasis.

5. Bronchiectasis can occur in one of three different subtypes. Fusiform, or cylindrical, bronchiectasis involves mild inflammation of bronchi. Varicose bronchiectasis involves dilation and constriction of the bronchial walls. Saccular, or cystic, bronchiectasis is the most severe subtype, and causes the bronchi to expand irreversibly.

6. Around 90 percent of all bronchiectasis patients have a chronic productive cough.

7. Diagnosis comes after CT scans confirm patterns of abnormalities in the lungs. Medical history of frequent respiratory infections and an underlying condition confirmed through blood and sputum tests can also be the basis for diagnosis.

8. Treatment involves antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection, and medical procedures to relieve fluid in the lungs. Sometimes surgery is used to remove obstructions and limit progression in patients with localized bronchiectasis. Asthma treatment such as inhaled steroids can also be helpful for clearing airways.

9. Preventing the progression of bronchiectasis is also important. Healthy body weight, vaccination against viruses such as pneumonia and the flu, and regular check ups at the doctor can all help prevent the condition from getting worse over time.

Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?

Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).

It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).

Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?

Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:

1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;

2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;

3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria