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Patients with Lethal Lung Disease Finally Receive Recognition by Social Security Administration
Date:2/11/2010

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Included on Newest Disease Listing of Compassionate Allowances

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is praising Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue's announcement this morning via press release that Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), also known as Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF), and a listing of 37 other diseases and life-threatening medical conditions are the latest additions to Social Security's "Compassionate Allowances" program.

The "Compassionate Allowances" program provides expedited review of disability applications from people with severely disabling conditions.  

"This is a watershed day for our patients and their families," said Mishka Michon, CEO of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.  "Historically, most of our patients have been repeatedly denied disability by Social Security and much needed benefits have been delayed to them. Now, our patients will be able to receive their benefits before it is too late for them."

Many PF patients die before being approved for benefits by Social Security because the disease is so relentless, unpredictable and progressive.  The average PF patient lives just 2.7 years. The CPF represents the 128,000 people who suffer from PF, an untreatable and terminal lung disease that causes irreversible scarring of the lungs. The disease has no FDA approved treatment, no known cause and no cure, and claims 40,000 lives each year, the same number as claimed by breast cancer.

According to Commissioner Astrue, "The expansion we are announcing today means tens of thousands of Americans with devastating disabilities will now get approved for benefits in a matter of days rather than months and years."


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SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
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