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Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and Social Security Disability

Millions of hard-working American tax payers contribute to the Social Security system, paying taxes from each and every paycheck they receive. These workers assume that Social Security Disability benefits will be there for them should they ever need them. Many of these individuals are surprised to discover that actually obtaining the Social Security Disability benefits they need is much more complicated than they had ever anticipated. In many cases, it can take more than a year of red tape and appeals before they ever see a payment from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

What happens to applicants who cannot wait months or even years for Social Security Disability benefits to begin? What about applicants who suffer from severe disabilities that warrant immediate attention from the SSA? In some cases, the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program can help.

In 2008 the SSA rolled out the Compassionate Allowances program, allowing certain individuals to be approved for disability benefits in a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months or years. Individuals who have been diagnosed with familial type hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis are among the applicants who qualify for faster processing of their Social Security Disability claims. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, the following information can help you understand how the diagnosis qualifies for disability benefits and how you can increase your chances of a hassle-free approval of your Social Security Disability claim under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) - Condition and Symptoms

Familial type hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, also referred to as HLH, is a rare inherited disorder that occurs when the body becomes infiltrated by too many histiocytes. These histiocytes accumulate in the major organs of the body, such as the spleen, liver, skin, bone marrow and central nervous systems. The condition is usually diagnosed during infancy or early childhood. HLH is a very rare illness, only affecting about one in every one million children under the age of fifteen.

Familial type hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is an inherited genetic condition. The condition occurs when one of the chromosomes of the DNA is mutated. There are five types of HLH that a person can develop. The type of HLH that a person is diagnosed with depends on which of the chromosomes has caused the condition.

The symptoms of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis can vary from case to case. Common symptoms of the condition include a prolonged fever, enlarged spleen, anemia, thrombocytopneia, liver abnormalities and lipid abnormalities. Unfortunately the condition is very difficult to diagnose, which means many patients go untreated and undiagnosed until damage has been done. If a doctor suspects that a patient is suffering from the condition, he or she will normally order blood work, genetic testing, bone marrow aspirations and other clinical diagnostic tests.

There is currently no cure for familial type hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. In most cases, the median survival rate without therapy is two months after onset of the condition. As more research is being done, more therapies are becoming available to treat the condition. Intrathecal methrotrexate and steroids are commonly used to treat hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. With proper treatment, chances of survival significantly increase. Unfortunately, for most patients, the condition is not diagnosed early enough and treatment does not begin until the condition has caused severe brain damage.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), Familial Type

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is a very severe and debilitating condition. The SSA has recognized this fact and has included the disease as one of the 88 conditions that qualify a disability applicant for faster approval under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

When filling a claim for Social Security Disability benefits based on a diagnosis of familial type hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, you will want to provide as much medical evidence as possible when submitting your disability claim. Copies of medical records, treatment history, lab results and written statements from treating physicians will all help support your claim for disability benefits. Also be sure to continue all medical treatment prescribed by your physician.

Your Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis Social Security Disability Case

Even though familial type hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is one of the 88 conditions that qualify a claim for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, it does not mean that your application for Social Security Disability benefits will be automatically approved by the SSA. You must provide the SSA with enough medical evidence to support your disability claim and your application for benefits must be submitted properly to ensure a quick and hassle-free approval of your disability benefits.

While it is not common, some Social Security Disability claims based on one of a Compassionate Allowances listing are denied during the initial stage of the application process. This is usually due to a lack of medical evidence, a poorly prepared disability claim or a lack of knowledge on the part of the adjudicator who is reviewing the Social Security Disability application. To ensure that your claim is submitted properly and handled according to the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, you should consider retaining the services of a disability attorney.