How COPD sufferers can access, maintain and use benefits

Suffering from COPD may be a struggle for any worker due to the high amount of physical, mental and monetary stress that it may cause. However, workers have different options to help them shoulder their monetary burdens, including compensation benefits or disability benefits. It therefore becomes important for workers to understand what they will need before filing for any benefits.

First and foremost, it is important for a worker with COPD to follow their doctor’s orders. Otherwise, they could risk losing their workers' compensation benefits or their access to Social Security disability benefits. According to Social Security Disability, a particularly important step is to avoid smoking after being diagnosed with COPD. Refusal to comply could result in the worker struggling to receive Social Security disability benefits or other compensation due to the intentional exacerbation of their illness. Another important step is to get regular treatment for COPD, as it will allow the worker to show they are following the regiments that their doctor prescribes.

Being aware of the medical expenses that can be incurred is also important. According to the American Thoracic Society, keeping COPD in check may require maintenance medication and reliever medication. Since COPD is a long-term illness, maintenance drugs are the most common and are usually taken every day. Relievers are usually for more intense, fast suppression of symptoms. The dual necessity could end up costing a lot, so a patient should be aware of how much monetary support they may be in need of.

Though a worker may still struggle with physical symptoms and with potentially needing to take time off of work in order to heal, keeping this in mind may make the path to recovery a little smoother. While this is not meant to be taken as legal advice, it may be beneficial to any worker with COPD.

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