This category of impairments includes chronic pulmonary insufficiency, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, pneumoconiosis, bronchiectasis, sleep related breathing disorders, lung transplants, respiratory failure, and related disorders.
Disability attributable to respiratory illness commonly arises from symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, reduced exercise tolerance and fatigue that are characteristic of respiratory disorders. These symptoms are frequently found to impose marked limitations on the ability to perform the physical demands of heavy labor, and the ability to work in the presence of extreme heat, cold or airborne irritants. However, they can also adversely affect the ability to speak, concentrate and meet the varied physical demands of professional work.
In cases involving respiratory impairments—particularly those involving professionals and others whose jobs are largely sedentary in nature—the evidence of disability must be carefully assembled. The treating physician’s involvement is critical. Respiratory claims require a thorough medical work up that documents each of the critical diagnostic findings and a well-reasoned explanation of how the underlying condition affects the individual’s occupational functioning.