Pneumoconiosis, commonly known as black-lung disease or coal worker's lung disease, is a serious lung disorder caused by chronic exposure to dust from coal, graphite, and man-made carbon. Pneumoconiosis sometimes occurs with rheumatoid arthritis in Caplan Syndrome.
Pneumoconiosis can either be simple or complicated. While both forms of the disease cause shortness of breath and chronic coughing, simple pneumoconiosis is rarely disabling. Complicated pneumoconiosis, however, also known as progressive massive fibrosis or anthrosilicosis, results in severe lung scarring and eventually destroys normal lung tissue. It can lead to chronic bronchitis, heart and respiratory failure, or chronic obstructive respiratory disease.
To win automatic approval for your disability claim based on pneumoconiosis, you must be diagnosed with the disease (confirmed by chest x-ray or other diagnostic imaging) and have a lung function test that meets the listing requirements for chronic pulmonary insufficiency. For more information on how to meet the listing requirements, refer to our article on disability for chronic pulmonary insufficiency. In addition, the article on chronic pulmonary insufficiency discusses how you can qualify for disability benefits due to a doctor's limitations (rather than getting automatic approval by meeting the requirements of the above listing).