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Alpha Mannosidosis and Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits application process can be quite lengthy. Most people must wait at least three months before their initial application for benefits is reviewed by the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. The DDS is responsible for reviewing applications under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) guidelines to determine eligibility for benefits.

On average, about 70 percent of applications are initially denied. This can occur for a number of reasons. Regardless of the cause of the denial, applicants must go through a second review and often an appeal hearing before they receive a final determination on eligibility. All together, this process can take a year or more, with some people waiting more than two years for SSDI benefits.

For those who suffer from very severe or terminal disabilities, waiting months or even years for a decision is impossible. In response, the SSA began its Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in 2008, which essentially allows DDS workers to expedite the review and approval of claims for conditions which are clearly severely disabling and meet the SSA’s guidelines.

At the present time, there are 113 CAL conditions on the SSA’s list. Fifty-two additional conditions where recently approved, including Alpha Mannosidosis, though these 52 disabilities will not formally be among the CAL list until August 13, 2012.

If you’ve received a diagnosis of Alpha Mannosidosis, the following information will help you understand the SSA’s disability claims review process for this specific condition. It will also give you some guidelines for increasing your chances of being quickly approved for disability benefits under the CAL guidelines of the SSA.

Alpha Mannosidosis – Condition and Symptoms

Alpha Mannosidosis is a genetic condition that causes deterioration of the central nervous system. It can range in severity and onset of symptoms. The most severe cases present much earlier and progress more quickly, usually leading to death in early childhood.

The less severe cases see the onset of symptoms later in life and the disease progresses more slowly as well. Signs and symptoms with later onset Alpha Mannosidosis can be milder in nature but may still be very disabling. Those who have later onset of symptoms may live well into their fifties, with a small percentage living even longer. Also in a very small percentage, the disease may be present by show few, if any symptoms.

With the early onset form of the disease, there may be a range of physical and developmental and cognitive signs. Physical signs can include facial structure abnormalities and deformities, bone density issues, spinal deformities and other bone and joint problems.

People with Alpha Mannosidosis may additionally experience coordination and muscle weakness issues, developmental delays, speech impairments, and hearing and vision problems. Enlarged spleen and liver may be seen in some cases, and fluid may also build up on the brain, particularly in early onset Alpha Mannosidosis. Many individuals have psychiatric symptoms as well, including anxiety, depression and hallucinations.

There is no cure for Alpha Mannosidosis. Treatment instead focuses on reducing the affects of symptoms and can include medications, physical therapy, psychotherapy, and the use of assistance devices like wheelchairs and hearing aids. There has also been some success in using bone marrow transplants at an early age to stop the progression of the disorder, though further study is needed to determine how effective this treatment may be for different cases and for long term prognosis.

Early onset Alpha Mannosidosis is the most severe form of the disorder and that which falls into the CAL program of the SSA. Other forms of the disorder may or may not qualify under the Compassionate Allowances program, dependent upon severity of disability.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Alpha Mannosidosis

You may be filing for SSDI benefits for yourself or for your child. The process of filing for disability benefits on behalf of a child is somewhat different, but the documentation required for showing the presence and severity of a disability is the same regardless.

You must have extensive medical records in any claim for SSDI. This is true even when your disability falls under the CAL program. In other words, even a diagnosis of severe, early onset Alpha Mannosidosis does not guarantee you’ll be approved for benefits. You will need to provide adequate documentation related to the diagnosis and treatment of the condition, including all your medical records, lab and other test results, and statements from treating physicians.

Your Alpha Mannosidosis Social Security Disability Case

While Alpha Mannosidosis is now considered a standard condition n the Compassionate Allowances list by the SSA, the diagnosis alone is not enough to be found eligible for SSDI. You will still need to include substantial proof of disability in your application in order to receive benefits. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you through the application and review processes and can shorten your wait for benefits as well.

To learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowance listings or to discover whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with a diagnosis of Alpha Mannosidosis, request a free case evaluation today.