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Fucosidosis – Type 1 and Social Security Disability

The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits usually means people are in for a lengthy wait, with most who apply waiting at least three months for their initial application to be reviewed. Nationally, the average rate of denials following the initial review runs at about 70 percent. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies benefits for a number of reasons, but the most common cause is insufficient medical documentation proving the disability claim.

Applicants who are denied SSDI benefits following the first review must go through a reconsideration review, and most, after being denied a second time, will need to file an appeal. All in all, the process can take a year or longer, with some applicants waiting two years or more for a final determination on their eligibility.

For anyone with a severe disability or terminal illness, waiting months or years for a decision on eligibility for benefits is impossible. For this reason, the SSA implemented the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in 2008, which allows for the expedited processing of disability applications which contain certain diagnoses, now including Fucosidosis – Type 1.

Currently, there are 113 conditions which fall under the CAL program. Come August 13, 2012, there will be 52 more conditions added to the list. Fucosidosis – Type 1 is among those which will become active on the list in August of this year.

If you’ve received a diagnosis of Type 1 Fucosidosis, the information which follows will help you understand the SSA’s disability claims review process. It will also provide you some insight into how to more quickly see disability benefits approved under the CAL guidelines.

Fucosidosis – Type 1 – Condition and Symptoms

Type 1 Fucosidosis is a rare biochemical disorder that develops in infants and progresses rapidly. In Fucosidosis, certain chemicals build up in the central nervous system and other tissues of the body. The primary symptoms of Fucosidosis – Type 1 include developmental delays, mental retardation, overall weakness, poor muscle tone, thick skin, rough facial features and excessive sweating.

As the disease progresses, more serious and ever worsening symptoms develop, including seizures, spastic quadriplegia, progressive mental retardation and chronic lung infections. It is also common for Type 1 Fucosidosis to lead to enlargement of the tongue, spleen, liver and heart.

If a physician suspects Fucosidosis a specific urine test looking for certain kinds of unprocessed sugars can be performed. If these oligosaccharides are present, a blood sample and possible a skin biopsy will be taken to confirm the diagnosis. In Fucosidosis patients, the alpha-fucosidase enzyme level in the blood and/or skin will be abnormally low.

The Type 1 form of the disorder is terminal, with most children who are diagnosed with it not living past the age of 5. Because there is no cure and no way to stop or reverse the affects of the condition, treatment focuses primarily on making the patient as comfortable as possible. Treatment is typically symptom specific and may include a number of medications, like anti-seizure drugs, blood pressure medications to alleviate strain on an enlarged heart, and antibiotics to treat chronic lung infections.

Caring for a seriously ill child takes its toll on the finances and overall abilities of working parents to hold a job and earn a steady income. Going through multiple rounds of reviews and appeals for SSDI benefits only adds to the stress and worry. The SSA recognizes this and has recently named Fucosidosis – Type 1 among the conditions which qualify for expedited claims processing under the CAL program guidelines.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Fucosidosis – Type 1

If you’re filing an application for disability with a diagnosis of Fucosidosis – Type 1, you will be doing so on behalf of a child. The process of filing for SSDI benefits for a child is somewhat different than it is for disabled adults. Though the filing processes and review procedures vary, 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 if your disability falls under the CAL program. In other words, even with a diagnosis of Fucosidosis – Type 1, automatic approval of benefits is not guaranteed. You will still 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 Fucosidosis – Type 1 Social Security Disability Case

Although Fucosidosis – Type 1 is now among the standard list of disabilities approved for rapid review and approval under the Compassionate Allowances program, the diagnosis alone is not enough to be found eligible for SSDI. You must include substantial proof of disability in your application in order to be found eligible for benefits. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you through the application and review processes, assist in getting the right documentation into your case file, 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 Fucosidosis – Type 1, request a free case evaluation today.