Cystic fibrosis (CF) is often a severe medical condition that gets worse over time. Many people with CF have chronic coughs and trouble breathing, delayed development, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, and other symptoms that affect the whole body. These people often find it difficult to work, and many people live their lives from childhood into adulthood relying on others for help with day-to-day tasks and financial support. Because of the severity of this condition, many people with cystic fibrosis can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in the U.S. Fayetteville, AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, explains how.
Do People with Cystic Fibrosis Qualify for Disability Benefits in Arkansas?
The question of whether you can qualify for disability comes down to two separate questions: do you meet the non-medical requirements to qualify for SSDI, and do you meet the medical requirements to qualify for disability.
“Disability” usually refers to one of two systems administered by the Social Security Administration across the country. The first system is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Like any other insurance plan, workers across the country pay into SSDI through their Social Security taxes when they work, and, in return, they can apply for SSDI if they develop a disability. This means that only people who have a history of working in the U.S. can get SSDI, with some exceptions that often help people living with CF.
Most people with cystic fibrosis are diagnosed as infants, and they live with their disability their whole life. In many cases, SSDI will be available to children on their parent’s record and, later, on their spouse’s record if they get married. This can help many people with cystic fibrosis get disability benefits under SSDI, even if they never worked.
Some people are diagnosed with CF as adults, and they might have sufficient work credits to cover their own SSDI benefits.
The other system is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a need-based program for adults and children who do not have work credits. This is also available to supplement SSDI during waiting periods and in other situations.
The medical requirements for cystic fibrosis are complex. It is best to talk to a doctor and an attorney, like our Rogers, AR social security disability lawyer to see if your condition meets the SSA’s definition. An official medical diagnosis of cystic fibrosis from a doctor can have a low threshold. If the doctor can confirm that you have the proper symptoms, they can perform a sweat test and genetic testing and diagnose you with cystic fibrosis. However, that does not mean that you will meet the SSA’s more narrow definition for disability purposes.
The SSA’s list of disabilities – which includes cystic fibrosis – uses a higher bar for qualifying for disability with cystic fibrosis. A diagnosis from a doctor is not enough, and you must meet other medical standards that indicate your cystic fibrosis is severe.
The SSA’s list has multiple optional elements that you could meet for your cystic fibrosis to qualify. Some examples deal with frequent hospitalization, the need for a chest tube, respiratory failure, hemorrhaging, and other complications. To meet the SSA’s definition, you need to meet any one of the categories listed in their official “Blue Book” of disabilities.
A doctor and a lawyer can help you understand whether you meet these medical standards and can qualify for benefits.
Applying for Disability Benefits in Arkansas with Cystic Fibrosis
If you want to apply for disability benefits in Arkansas for yourself or for a child in your care, call a lawyer. The process of applying for disability benefits can be confusing at best, and impossible at worst. Many people with cystic fibrosis apply for disability benefits because they cannot work, but the process of filling out applications, seeking medical evaluations, and evaluating your condition can practically be a job in and of itself.
Working with a lawyer can statistically increase your chances of getting your application accepted. A lawyer experienced in filing disability applications knows what kind of language to use to explain your condition and the limitations that your disability causes you. Your lawyer will also know what forms and medical evaluations you will need to support your paperwork.
Many applications for disability are denied because they are incomplete or because they do not have all of the information they need. If the SSA cannot make a determination that you are disabled and meet all of their complex standards, then your application might be rejected. Working with a lawyer can help avoid that, but if the application is rejected, your lawyer can also help appeal the denial.
Filing for reconsideration, appealing the denial to a judge, and fighting the SSA further in federal court might be necessary in some cases where the SSA refuses your application. An SSDI attorney can make sure that your application is corrected and that appeals are filed on time to fight to get you the disability benefits you need.
Talk to our Fayetteville, AR children’s disability lawyer for help understanding what forms you or your child needs, what medical evaluations you need, and how to file your application to get disability benefit for cystic fibrosis.
Call Our Fayetteville Disability Lawyer to Discuss Getting SSDI Benefits for Cystic Fibrosis
If you or a loved one has cystic fibrosis and needs disability benefits because they are unable to work, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. Our Fayetteville disability lawyer represents disabled Arkansans with cystic fibrosis and other disabilities. Ken can help with your application process, fight denials, and appeal cases to help you get the disability benefits you need through SSDI or SSI. For a free case consultation, call us today at (479) 316-0438.