Monday, July 25, 2016

Social Security Amends the Respiratory Disability Listing

The Social Security Administration has enacted comprehensive changes to disability listings 3.00 and 103.00 for Respiratory Disorders.  See  81 CFR 37138  This listing will be effective for cases filed or pending after October 7, 2016.  This is the first major overhaul of the respiratory listing since 1993. The amendment also changes the name of the of the listing from Respiratory System to Respiratory Disorders.
The new listing places a great deal of emphasis on the tests used to measure lung capacity.  The agency will continue to require spirometry testing to determine a person's forced expiratory volume and forced capacity.  Under the proposed changes proof of equipment calibration will no longer be needed.  One particular aspect to keep in mind is that under the new listing the agency seems to require that tracing results of the spirometry be submitted with the medical records.  If tracing results are not submitted, the SSA may then request the claimant to undergo a consultative examination.  
On positive aspect of the changes includes a reduction in the number of hospitalizations needed in a year in order to meet the listing.  The old listing required six hospitalizations but the new listing has reduced them to three.  In enacting this change, the agency acknowledged that claimants are not always able to visit a hospital or able to pay for care when they suffer exacerbations of their conditions.  
Under the old listing lung transplant recipients were automatically considered disabled for a period of one year,  The new changes increases this time period to three years.