1? If you are diagnosed with stage III COPD, it means that your lung function has been seriously impaired with increased shortness of breath, wheezing, and fatigue making daily function increasingly difficult. Symptoms may have even resulted in one or more hospitalizations.Click to see full answer. Correspondingly, how long can you live with Stage 3 COPD?Those with stage 3 or 4 COPD have a life expectancy of 8.5 years, or 5.8 years lower. Former smokers lose 0.5 years for smoking, 1.4 additional years for stage 2 COPD and 5.6 additional years for stage 3 or 4 COPD, compared with otherwise similar persons who do not have lung disease.Subsequently, question is, does Stage 3 COPD qualify for disability? COPD is also called chronic bronchitis or emphysema. The answer to the question is this – if your COPD is severe enough, you can qualify for SSDI or SSI. COPD is a listing level disease, which means the SSA has laid out the criteria for it to be automatically considered a disability. Also question is, what are the symptoms of Stage 3 COPD? If you’re in stage III of COPD, you typically get problems like: Flare-ups more often. More shortness of breath. You may also have: Colds more often. Swelling in your ankles, feet, and legs. Tightness in your chest. Trouble taking a deep breath. Wheezing, rapid breathing, and other breathing issues when doing basic tasks. How bad is COPD Stage 3?Stage 3 is also called severe emphysema. That means your disease is likely to be quite serious. As you get older, especially after age 65, breathing problems are more likely to interfere with basic daily tasks like dressing, cooking, or climbing stairs, and cause symptoms that send you to the hospital.