The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – Adult as a new addition to the compassionate allowances list (CAL). The compassionate allowances list is a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) standards of criteria for approval for disability benefits. The CAL includes terminal illnesses, cancers, brain disorders, and rare genetic conditions that are life-altering.
What is a Compassionate Allowance?
A compassionate allowance quickly identifies medical conditions that meet the definition of the SSA standards for disability benefits. The CAL program identifies disability claims in which the claimant’s condition or disease clearly meets the statutory standards for disability per the SSA guidelines.
Because advanced technology has been incorporated, the SSA can easily and quickly identify CAL claims so decisions can be made more quickly. A CAL claim may see a decision in a matter of weeks rather than months because they know the claimant meets the criteria for approval and they know the claimant needs the monthly benefits.
If Your DMD Doesn’t Meet the Compassionate Allowance
If your condition does not meet the criteria of the compassionate allowance list, you may still be able to qualify through a listing for a similar condition in the Blue Book. You will need to provide supporting medical evidence and documentation that show your condition meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing.
For Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is caused by mutations in the same gene and affects the upper legs and upper arms, you will need to show that the following apply to you and your condition:
- Have a “disorganization of motor function in two extremities resulting in extreme limitation in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities.”
- Have a marked limitation in physical functioning
- Have a marked limitation in understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Have a marked limitation in interacting with others
- Have a marked limitation in concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Have a marked limitation in adapting or managing oneself
How To Apply for Disability Benefits
If you suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or any kind of muscular dystrophy and you are ready to apply for disability benefits, you should gather the supporting evidence and documentation that your claim needs to succeed. You can start the application online or by calling 1-800-772-1213, or by scheduling an appointment at your local SSA field office.
Hard medical evidence is essential to the success of your claim, so you need to have detailed medical evidence and other supporting documentation. Your medical records must include test results and lab reports that confirm the diagnosis, as well as exam notes and other details about your medical treatment and your results.
You should provide a detailed list of your healthcare providers along with their contact details and approximate dates of service, so the SSA can review all your pertinent medical records. A disability attorney can also help you maneuver the process.
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