This category includes chronic
pulmonary insufficiency, cystic fibrosis, pneumoconiosis, bronchiectasis, cor pulmonale secondary to chronic vascular hypertension, sleep related breathing disorders, and lung transplant.
All respiratory disorders can result in disability. Sometimes, disability is predicated solely on severity of the disorder, as documented by pulmonary function test results, blood studies, or other clinical findings that meet relevant standards established by the Social Security Administration.
More commonly, respiratory disability arises from
symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, reduced exercise
tolerance, headache and fatigue that are characteristic of many respiratory disorders. These symptoms may impose
limitations on a person's ability to perform the physical demands
of work or to work in certain environments. Even people
with relatively mild respiratory disorders can qualify for disability
benefits if their symptoms are significant, or if they are aggravated by another medical problem or condition.
Obesity is a condition that is often associated with disturbance of lung function. The combined effects of obesity with respiratory impairments can be greater than the effects of each condition considered separately. Effective representation of individuals whose disability claims are based wholly or in part on respiratory disorders requires familiarity with the signs and symptoms of such disorders as well as how they interact with other medical disorders.