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Research Outlines Need for Increased COPD and Asthma Awareness, Allsup Reports

Study highlights health limitations for patients who have both conditions; Allsup focuses on awareness of long-term disability and SSDI benefits

Belleville, IL, June 28, 2013 --( Anyone with one chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma knows these serious respiratory conditions can make every breath difficult. But the struggle for thousands of Americans who have both COPD and asthma appears to be significantly more severe, highlighting the importance of medical evaluation and awareness, according to Allsup, which has helped tens of thousands of people receive their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

A recent study, reported in the journal Respiratory Medicine, showed that nearly one in five, or 20 percent, of people have COPD and overlapping complications with asthma. The study of 3,885 people between ages 40 and 80 found those with both COPD and asthma experience more wheezing, reduced breathing capacity, have trouble controlling symptoms and difficulties with physical activity, compared to those with just COPD.

COPD includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which can worsen over time. COPD is a leading of death in the United States, claiming more than 120,000 lives each year, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). More than 12 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed, and it’s estimated the same number are not aware they have the condition. Asthma also is a serious chronic lung disease that impairs breathing. More than 3,000 people each year die from asthma attacks, according to the institute.

“Respiratory conditions such as COPD and asthma can be a severely disabling impairment,” said Ed Swierczek, senior claimant representative for Allsup. “Not being able to breathe normally impacts every part of a person’s life, including their ability to work. It has a huge impact on quality of life.”

Respiratory diseases are a major cause of long-term disability. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), nearly 250,000 U.S. workers with respiratory diseases receive SSDI benefits. To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, individuals must have a severe disability that is expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA payroll taxes to be eligible, and typically, must have worked five out of the last 10 years. SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program overseen by the SSA.

Allsup offers the following tips when considering seeking SSDI benefits:

Get your doctor on board. Let medical specialists know you are applying for SSDI and ask for their support. Treating physicians and providers are likely to be asked to supply medical records and their medical opinion about the condition and ability to work. Ask them to respond quickly to requests for information.

Patience is important. SSA typically takes three to six months to review the initial application. The SSA denies most initial applications, so many applicants must file a disability appeal to receive benefits. The national average wait time for a claim that has reached the hearing level is 373 days.

Seek expert SSDI help. Representation from an advocate such as Allsup can make a major difference in how quickly an applicant gets an award and ensures that qualified applicants will receive benefits. Allsup experts have hundreds of years of combined experience with the SSA and have helped more than 200,000 people obtain benefits more quickly.

If you have questions about your SSDI claim or disability appeal, call (800) 678-3276 for a free SSDI evaluation.

About Allsup
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to or visit Allsup on Facebook at
Contact Information
Rebecca Ray
(800) 854-1418 ext 65065
300 Allsup Place, Belleville, IL 62223

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