Medical Professional Publications

Social Security Administration Publication of Final Rules for Evaluating Respiratory Disorders

Dear Colleagues:
The Social Security Administration recently published final rules for evaluating disability with regard to respiratory disorders. These rules will take effect on October 7, 2016. The CFF had provided comments on the proposed rule in April 2013.
We are pleased with the overall changes made in the final rule, which include:
  • Expanded and updated eligibility criteria for those with CF
  • Expanded FEV1 values, incorporating separate levels for males and females and separate levels for those ages 18-20 and ages 20+ for adults and ages 6-13 and ages 13-18 for children
  • Stricter exacerbation requirement of 3 hospitalizations within a 12-month period (though overall the new eligibility criteria are more inclusive)
  • Consideration of a wider range of exacerbations and complications, including pulmonary hemorrhage, weight loss, and CFRD
  • Expanded eligibility for those who receive lung transplants to three years after a transplant (changed from 12 months after a transplant)
  • Allowing treatment of exacerbations wherever deemed most appropriate (hospital, home, outpatient care center)
This is a big win for the CF community and reflects your strong and effective voices. Congratulations to everyone.
For more information, see our news story on
The electronic version of the new rules is available in the Federal Register.
For assistance with social security benefits, people with CF and their families can contact COMPASS, the Foundation's patient assistance program, at (844) 266-7277 or by email at
Best regards,
Mary Dwight
Senior Vice President for Policy and Patient Assistance Programs
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation | National Office
Bruce C. Marshall, M.D.
Sr. Vice President of Clinical Affairs
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation | National Office

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