How can I prove to Social Security that my breathing problems are disabling?

You have read enough about Social Security applications to know that many are denied the first time around. You do not want that to happen to you, and you are ready to perform any laboratory test your doctor orders that can help prove the extent of your disability. What tests are available to applicants with severe respiratory issues and how can you convey to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you truly cannot work with your condition?

Tests That Can Help Prove the Extent of Your Breathing Problems to SSA

  • Pulmonary function tests. Nearly all asthma suffers have had to undergo a pulmonary function test. This test measures your lung capacity, strength, and breathing ability under normal conditions and after you use your regular inhaled treatments.
  • Arterial blood gas (ABG) study. An arterial blood gas test is a way of measuring the acidity (pH) of your blood, as well as your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. It gives a reading of how well your lungs can transmit oxygen and remove carbon dioxide as blood passes through them. In an ABG test, blood is drawn from an artery, allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to be measured before they are absorbed into the body tissues. ABG tests may be performed at rest, standing, walking, or during heavy exercise.
  • Exercise testing. In cases where extreme exertion triggers an attack or worsens a breathing condition, patients may submit to controlled exercise testing. This measures lost lung capacity during increased activity that might not be evident at rest (such as in cases of chronic pulmonary disease).

We can help you collect medical records from Bergan Mercy Medical Center, the Nebraska Medical Center, and the other hospitals that treated your respiratory condition. To learn more about how we can help, email us at [email protected], or order our free informational guide, Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Social Security Disability Claim.

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska