Q. I am 50 years old and was recently diagnosed with emphysema and pleurisy. What chance would I have to get Social Security disability? My doctor told me to sign up as soon as possible.


A. Follow your doctor’s advice and apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Whether your claim will be approved depends on the severity of your impairments and on the completeness of the medical evidence your doctor provides.

If you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity, you will be awarded a monthly Social Security disability benefit beginning in the sixth full month of disability. You will be entitled to Medicare in the 25th month of receipt of benefits.

For information about disability benefits, go online to https://www.ncpssm.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/EN-05-10029.pdf.