Asthma can cause a lot of inconvenience and disruptions in everyday life. In fact, it is estimated that over 25 million people in the United States have asthma, 6.3 million of which are under 18. Some people with asthma experience only mild symptoms, while others can have severe symptoms that require hospitalization. 

Asthma can interfere with work or school and make it challenging to participate in everyday activities. This article discusses how one can qualify for disability with asthma. Keep reading below.

The Common Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma symptoms can differ for everyone and range from mild to severe. They may be any of the following:

  • Blue fingers or lips
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Confusion 
  • Coughing
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fainting 
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Respiratory infection
  • Throat irritation
  • Wheezing

Asthma symptoms can come and go in waves, with sudden flare-ups or attacks triggered by specific things such as:

  • Animal dander
  • Bad weather 
  • Cockroach droppings 
  • Dust mites
  • Hairspray 
  • Insecticide 
  • Mold 
  • Perfume
  • Physical exercise
  • Pollen 
  • Smoke 
  • Sulfites 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing asthma. The best way to manage your asthma will vary depending on your individual symptoms and triggers. However, there are some general things you can do to help control your asthma symptoms. These include avoiding triggers, taking medications as prescribed, and having a written asthma action plan.

How to Qualify for Disability with Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the lungs and airways, and it is the leading reason for missed school days in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, around 6.3 million children in the United States have asthma. If you have asthma, working with your doctor to create a plan to manage your symptoms is important.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that asthma can be a disabling condition and has included it in the Blue Book. To qualify for benefits, an individual must meet the requirements laid out in the listing. These include having documentation of asthma attacks that have required medical treatment and have caused limitations of activities. 

In addition, the SSA will consider how well asthma is controlled with medication and other treatments. Alternatively, you can qualify by showing that your asthma prevents you from working in the national economy.

If you have asthma, but it is not severe enough to meet or equal a listing, you may still be able to get benefits if you can show that it prevents you from doing any work that exists in the national economy. To do this, you will need to show that your asthma limits your ability to function in at least two of the following areas:

  • Breathing 
  • Carrying
  • Lifting 
  • Sitting 
  • Speaking
  • Standing
  • Walking 


The SSA does consider asthma to be a qualifying disability for purposes of receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. To qualify, applicants must provide evidence that their asthma is severe and persistent and significantly limits their ability to work. The SSA will also consider whether applicants have other disabling conditions that may contribute to their overall disability.

If you need a disability attorney in Fort Myers, trust Avard Law. Our attorneys specialize in Social Security Disability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and more. Give us a call.