People with asthma experience breathing problems because their airways swell and air cannot get through. Doctors cannot cure asthma but many people can control their symptoms with medication. People with severe asthma may have difficulty holding a job.
Types of Disability
Several types of disability programs provide benefits for people that cannot work due to asthma. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provide benefits for people that cannot work for at least one year. Some states offer short-term disability benefits. Other people purchase private disability insurance policies.
The amount you can receive from disability for asthma varies depending on the type of disability program. It may also vary according to your income level or other factors. For instance, the maximum amount in SSI that people with asthma can receive from Social Security is $674 per month in 2010, although a few states add additional money to disability payments for SSI recipients. Some people receiving SSI get less than $674 per month based on their income or resources. The amount people can get from SSDI is based on how much they worked and paid into Social Security before becoming disabled.
People that receive disability for asthma may qualify for other benefits as well, such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance and assistance with utility bills. Each program has its own eligibility criteria so people may qualify for some programs but not others.
Apply for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance at your local Social Security Administration office. You can also find out there when you will qualify for Medicare; usually you must be considered disabled for two years first unless you are 65 years old or older.
Apply for Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits at the welfare agency in the county in which you live. The name of the agency varies from state to state but it is usually called something like Department of Social Services or Department of Health and Human Services.
If your state offers short-term disability benefits, you’ll need to check with the state about how to apply because each state has its own policies and procedures.
Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma/DS00021. Asthma.
Social Security Administration. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10029.html. Disability Benefits.
Social Security Administration. http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/. Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Administration. http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/3.00-Respiratory-Adult.htm. Disability Evaluation – Respiratory System.