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Alstrom Syndrome and Social Security Disability

Each and every year, millions of Americans go through the lengthy and complicated Social Security Disability application process. This year alone, the Social Security Administration is expected to receive more than 3 million applications for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, many of these applicants will wait more than a year before being approved for benefits – if they are ever approved at all. While the initial application process for disability benefits only takes three to four months to complete, the truth is that only about 30 percent of disability applications are approved at the initial stage of the claim process.

What happens to applicants who do not have months or even years to wait for an approval from the Social Security Administration? In some cases, if the applicant suffers from one of the 88 conditions that qualify for the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program, an application for Social Security Disability benefits can actually be processed in a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months. Individuals who have been diagnosed with Alstrom Syndrome are among the applicants who may qualify for faster approval times under the Compassionate Allowances listings.

If you have been diagnosed with Alstrom Syndrome, you may be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits much more quickly than the average disability applicant. The following information will help you understand how your condition qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits and how your claim for benefits may be expedited under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program.

Alstrom Syndrome - Conditions and Symptoms

Alstrom Syndrome is a very rare genetic disease (actually one of the rarest in the world) that affects many different parts of the body. The condition was first described in 1959 and was named after the Swedish doctor who first discovered it, Carl-Henry Alstrom. Since its discovery, there have only been 501 cases of the disease reported worldwide.

The Alstrom Syndrome condition is genetic and is passed down through family members. The disease is caused by a mutated ALMS1 gene. In some cases, this mutated gene may be present in a person and the disease may never develop if the individual received one mutated ALMS1 gene from one parent and a non-mutated gene from another parent. If both the mother and father have the mutated gene, however, there is a 25-percent chance that their child will receive one mutated gene from each parent and will develop Alstrom Syndrome.

The symptoms of Alstrom Syndrome vary widely from one case to the next. Because of this, it is impossible to tell exactly which symptoms a patient will suffer from. Some of the common symptoms associated with Alstrom Syndrome include sensitivity to light, rapid eye movement, slow degeneration of the retina, cone-rod dystrophy, hearing loss, weight gain, stunted growth, enlarged heart muscles, fluid build-up in the lungs, shortness of breath, edema and congestive heart failure. In some cases, people suffering from Alstrom Syndrome may also have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, high cholesterol and kidney failure or liver failure.

To diagnose the Alstrom Syndrome condition, a doctor will perform a variety of tests including a physical exam, blood tests and various genetic testing. There is no cure for Alstrom Syndrome. Instead, when treating an individual for this condition, a doctor will focus on treatment of the symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Alstrom Syndrome

Patients who are diagnosed with Alstrom Syndrome often qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowances program. These patients can bypass the lengthy application and appeals process, qualifying for disability benefits in a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months.

Even though Alstrom Syndrome is included in the SSA's listing of impairments that qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program, you need to include as much medical evidence as possible when submitting your disability claim. Even if you have been diagnosed with Alstrom Syndrome, submitting an application without sufficient medical documentation may result in a denial of benefits and the need for an appeal. When submitting your disability application, make sure you include any and all medical records, test results and treatment histories as these documents will be needed to approve your claim.

Your Alstrom Syndrome Social Security Disability Case

Even though Alstrom Syndrome is one of the 88 conditions that can qualify an individual for expedited approval under the Social Security Disability Compassionate Allowances program, you should still consider retaining the services of a Social Security attorney or advocate when submitting your Social Security claim. Doing so will ensure that your application is submitted to the SSA in the best light possible, increasing your chances of a hassle-free approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances Program.

If you would like to learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowances program or if you would like to find out whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, click here for a free review of your Social Security Disability case.