Questions To Ask A Social Security Disability Attorney When You Cannot Work Due To COPD

If you have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for a social security disability payment. COPD, which includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema, has been diagnosed to approximately 6.8 million people in the United States in the last year, according to recent statistics by the Center For Disease Control. In addition, it is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and although treatment options are available, there is not yet a cure. As a result, if you can no longer work due to the severity of your COPD, even with reasonable accommodations while working like a chair or a non-smoking environment when feasible, it is important to know some crucial questions to ask when choosing a social security disability attorney.    

#1-How Familiar Is Your Lawyer With Social Security Applicants That Suffer From COPD?   

It will be very helpful to note that the federal government has very specific guidelines when determining the extent of a person's disability when he or she has COPD. For example, your height (without shoes) and your weight will be calculated in proportion to the results of specific lung tests. If your numbers exceed those established in their charts, it will be even harder for you to get a payment. Some exceptions to an automatic exclusion in the past have included secondary health issues that are worsened by or caused by the COPD.

For instance, if your illness has made it hard to move around, it may cause or add to obesity. Obesity is a major problem by itself and can make other problems, like diabetes or sleep apnea, worse. Obviously, this illness can be very challenging to live with and to work around, so it is best to be sure that your lawyer is familiar with it and the various ways that it can impact you. Since it is not always as obvious as symptoms of a major stroke or mental illness, a lawyer with extensive experience with COPD applicants could save you time along the way.     

How Can The Attorney Help You To Establish The Severity and Amount Of Time That You Have Had Your Illness?

It is often surprising to find out that COPD exists in a variety of forms. Unfortunately, current estimates are that one that out of five long-term smokers have it and do not know.  Therefore, it is a serious illness that can dramatically increase the quality of your life and its length, but does not always present with the portable oxygen tank that it is often associated with.  

That means that you could have had COPD for years and not known. Frequent colds, allergies, asthma symptoms or a "smoker's cough" are common symptoms of COPD. Although you have the legal right to access your medical records, and in some states you have to get them very soon after asking, some people have reported difficulties obtaining pharmaceutical records or records from doctor's offices that have since closed. In those instances, legal representation could be very helpful.  

In conclusion, choosing the right attorney when filing for social security disability can have a significant impact on the success of your application. Therefore, the above questions will be very helpful to consider when interviewing the various candidates for the position.  Contact a lawyer, such as J W Chalkley III PA, for more information.