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Living with asbestosis? You may qualify for SSDI

Every day, you wonder if you can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. You worked for many years in construction and had an inkling that you may have been exposed to asbestos in your younger days. When your doctor informed you that you had developed asbestosis, you weren't surprised. Many of your coworkers had the same condition.

Asbestosis affects the lungs and is a direct result of asbestos fibers penetrating them and causing scarring. The fibers build up and cause irritation. The lungs scar time and time again until the person with the disease begins to have trouble breathing. Normally, people with this condition won't know it until many decades after exposure.

How does asbestosis affect the lungs?

When you have asbestosis, the lungs aren't as pliable as they would be if they were healthy. Since the tissues are stiff, they have a harder time inflating and deflating. This limits the amount of oxygen you're able to get from each breath.

If you're struggling with physical activity, chest pain or have noticed that your fingers or toes have started clubbing, then it's time to look into getting serious medical support for this illness.

Will I quality for Social Security Disability benefits if I have asbestosis?

Having this condition won't automatically mean that you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If you are still able to work and can manage normally, then you may not qualify. However, if you cannot work, have statements from physicians showing that the disease has progressed or have a medical history showing that this illness has a profound negative impact on your life, you may be able to qualify. Qualifying or not will all depend on your medical documentation and proving to the Social Security Administration that your illness has progressed into a serious disability.

Remember, too, that you must have a work history that is long enough to help you qualify for SSDI. If you didn't work enough, you may still qualify for other benefits, even if you don't qualify for SSDI.

What should you do if you are denied Social Security Disability benefits?

If you have received a denial letter, you may want to review the denial with your attorney. You have the right to appeal the denial, but there may be specific information that the Social Security Administration needs to make a determination on your case. Simply appealing without further information will not likely result in a new decision, so you should learn more about the reason for the denial and what you should include in your appeal before filing.

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