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Respiratory System

In order to determine if an applicant qualifies for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration developed the Blue Book to guide physicians and SSA representatives. The Blue Book splits up general impairments into 14 different categories and lists the restrictions of conditions within each category. The third category deals with impairments of the respiratory system. Under this section, the SSA will evaluate several factors of your respiratory disability by the Blue Book’s standards to find out whether you qualify for disability benefits. Section 3 is split up into 10 subsections. Each subsection is specific to a certain condition of the respiratory system. If your condition is not within a subsection, you still potentially qualify for benefits. Below are the 10 subsections:  

Bluebook Categories:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency
  • Cor Pulmonale Secondary to Chronic Pulmonary Vascular Hypertension
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Lung Transplant
  • Mycobacterial, Mycotic, and Other Chronic Lung Infections
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Related Breathing Disorders


Other Conditions evaluated under this category:

  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Allergies
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic Restrictive Ventilatory Disease
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Sarcoidosis