Work Limitations From Asthma
Because asthma is mild for most individuals that experience it, your disability insurance company will likely need some convincing. They will require significant proof of how your asthma limits your ability to perform at work. Because of this, you will need to show how your asthma contributes to your inability to perform at work.
For example, physical exertion at work may cause you to experience asthma attacks. Severe asthma attacks may cause you to have unexpected or frequent sick days, which could cause you to fall behind at work. Coughing and wheezing symptoms may cause you to lose sleep, making it harder to focus at work. If you have stress-related asthma attacks, important meetings or deadlines could trigger asthma attacks. Irritants in the workplace, such as copier ink or cleaning products could also trigger episodes. Having to take breaks from work to recover from episodes may also lead to further productivity limitations.
Proving Your Asthma As a Disability
In order to file for Long-Term Disability for your asthma, you will require proof of your diagnosis, symptoms, and more. You will need to prove that you not only suffer from asthma but that it is a hindrance to your work.
Proof of Diagnosis
Showing proof of diagnosis starts with your doctor. A diagnosis will generally require a physical examination by your doctor, followed by further testing to confirm. You may also be referred to a pulmonologist for further respiratory treatment and evaluation.
Physical examinations can help rule out, or find additional conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or respiratory infections. Your doctor will ask questions regarding your medical history, family history, and any symptoms you experience. They will also look for additional signs and symptoms of other respiratory conditions.
Lung Function Measurements
Lung function testing helps pulmonologists determine your lung performance. Generally, these tests occur both before and after taking medication to open your airways. Commonly, this medication is Albuterol, the medication found in most asthmatic inhalers. a Lung Function Measurement test can be used to diagnose the condition or quantify its effect on your lung capacity.
Support from Your Doctor
Your insurance company will likely require a supportive opinion from your doctor regarding how your condition affects your daily life and your ability to work. Generally, your doctor’s report will focus on the severity and frequency of your symptoms. They may also discuss limitations or restrictions that could limit your capacity for work. This report will likely come in the form of an Attending Physician Statement or other supporting documentation.
Functional Capacity Evaluation
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a physical evaluation that tests how your body reacts to physical work, and what your limitations are. While most symptoms of asthma do not directly affect your physical capabilities, physical exertion may trigger asthmatic episodes. because of this, an FCE can be a good indicator of how your condition affects your ability to perform at work.