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Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency, Pt. 1

Listing 3.02 identifies pulmonary conditions which are covered under Social Security Disability. The Listing covers diseases that restrict the flow or processing of air into, within, or out of the lungs. Included are COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic restrictive ventilatory disease, and chronic impairment of gas exchange that occurs with a clinically documented case of COPD.

Just COPD alone accounts for the deaths of over 100,000 Americans each year. Less than 15 years ago, it was the fourth leading cause of death, but now ranks as third, largely due to an increase in smoking among women. The Centers for Disease Control reports that between 15 and 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from COPD. Taken together, the various diseases which fall under Listing 3.02, then, account for a significant portion of all SSD applicants.

Coverages and Testing

The acceptable method of testing for chronic pulmonary insufficiency diseases is spirometry. This involves measuring breath to determine lung function. The Listing includes tables of FEV numbers which fall within the range of pulmonary insufficiency. FEV refers to forced expiratory volume. Height is used in the calculations because taller individuals tend to have larger lungs. Gender and age are not taken into account, even though women generally have slightly smaller lungs than men for a given height. This suggests that women may have a slight edge over men in testing within the specified range for SSD.

Continue to Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency, Pt. 2.