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Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Social Security Disability

Many Social Security Disability applicants must wait months or even years to receive an approval for disability benefits. While the initial application stage only takes three to four months to complete, the majority of disability applications are denied during the initial stage of the disability application process. This denial of benefits results in most applicants having to submit an appeal. The appeal process can take months or even years to complete, causing added stress and financial burden. What happens when an individual cannot wait months or years before Social Security Disability benefits begin? What happens when a condition warrants immediate attention from the Social Security Administration? In some cases, these individuals may qualify for faster claim processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

The SSA has come up with a listing of 88 different conditions that qualify for expedited claim approval under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) is one of the 88 conditions that qualify under this program. If your child has been diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome and you would like to know how the condition qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits, the following information will help you understand the claim process and how the Compassionate Allowances program can help.

Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) - Condition and Symptoms

Edwards Syndrome (also known as Trisomy 18 or T18) is a genetic disorder that is caused by the presence of an extra 18th chromosome. The condition was named after John H. Edwards, the individual who first described the disease in 1960. Edwards Syndrome is the second most common autosomal trisomy condition, second to Down Syndrome and affecting approximately one in every 3,000 live births.

In normal, healthy individuals there are only two copies of the 18th chromosome. In individuals who are born with Edwards Syndrome, there are three copies of this chromosome. While the exact effects and symptoms of Edwards Syndrome vary from individual to individual, common symptoms and effects include delayed mental development, high muscle tone, seizures, physical malformations, small head size, small lower jaw, wide-set eyes, congenital heart defects, defects to the hands and feet and malformations of the genitals, digestive tract and urinary tract. Due to the resulting heart, kidney and other organ abnormalities, the survival rate of Edwards Syndrome is very low.

In many cases, the physical appearance at birth can help a doctor diagnose a child with Trisomy 18. Genetic testing can be conducted to confirm the extra copy of the 18th chromosome. In some cases a baby can be diagnosed prior to birth via an amniocentesis procedure. Ultrasounds of the baby's heart, abdomen and x-rays are also often conducted when diagnosing this condition.

As of now, there is no cure for Edwards Syndrome. Instead, treatment is supportive. A doctor who is treating the condition will focus on treating resulting infections, managing heart complications and providing the child with the proper nutrition.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18)

Edwards Syndrome is one of 88 conditions that qualify for expedited claim processing under the Social Security Compassionate Allowances program. It is important to understand, however, that you will still need to provide the Social Security Administration with sufficient medical evidence when submitting your claim for disability benefits.

When filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits due to a diagnosis of Edwards Syndrome, make sure you provide the SSA with written statements from your child's treating physician, copies of all lab results and a complete copy of your child's medical records. This information will help the adjudicator who is reviewing your claim in making a fast and hassle-free determination in regards to your child's Social Security Disability benefits.

Your Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) Social Security Disability Case

Even though Edwards Syndrome is one of the conditions that qualifies a claim for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines, that does not mean that your claim for benefits will be automatically approved by the Social Security Administration. You will need to present your disability application properly and will need to make sure that enough medical evidence is submitted in order to have the best chance of a quick and hassle-free approval of your Social Security Disability claim.

Prior to filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, you should consider retaining the services of a qualified disability advocate or attorney. This professional can help you prepare your disability application, gathering the necessary medical evidence, and will submit your information in the best light possible to the SSA. This will ensure that your claim is handled properly and that the adjudicator reviewing your file processes your claim according to the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.