The recent case of the former firefighter who was awarded disability benefits for a lung problem likely caused by smoking and not his job is unusual but brings to light the condition of emphysema. Emphysema is a chronic disease where the lungs are obstructed, making breathing very difficult. Tobacco smoke is the main cause of this condition but it can also be the result of inhaling toxins in the air.

If you have worked in an environment where toxic chemicals are involved, you can develop emphysema. You will experience shortness of breath and may hyperventilate regularly. Oxygen may be necessary to help your breathe. Emphysema will also require ongoing, long-term medical treatment.

There is no cure for emphysema. It is a degenerative medical condition that can be treated. In addition to oxygen treatments, medication can assist in coping with the symptoms. In some cases, surgery can help improve the breathing of patients with more advanced stages of emphysema.

In order to receive Social Security disability benefits for emphysema, the Administration will look at the limitations the person suffers due to the condition and not the actual medical diagnosis. If you are unable to work anymore due to breathing difficulties, you may be able to receive benefit payments from Social Security for your condition.

Breathing conditions are nothing to ignore. You should have a thorough examination by your doctor for a prompt diagnosis. Since emphysema is a progressive disease, it will only get worse. Seek the help of your medical provider and speak to an experienced attorney before filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.

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