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Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease and Social Security Disability

For a variety of reasons, the average application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits takes at least three months for the initial review to be completed. Also for a range of reasons, the majority (about 70%) of SSD claims are denied. This means most applicants must go through a second review and potentially an appeal before they receive a final determination on their eligibility for benefits. The entire process can take anywhere from several months to more than two years.

Those who have terminal illnesses and very severe disabilities don’t have that long to wait for benefits. The SSA understands this and developed the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in 2008 to more quickly and efficiently address the applications for those who clearly suffer from terminal illnesses and inherently disabling conditions.

At the present time, there are 113 conditions on the SSA’s CAL list. Come August, another 52 will become active on that list, including Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease.

If you’ve received a diagnosis of Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease, the following information will help you understand the SSA’s disability claims process for this diagnosis. 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.

Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease – Condition and Symptoms

Juvenile Onset form is the least common type of the genetic disorder of Huntington’s Disease (HD), accounting for less than 10 percent of all HD cases. The Juvenile HD develops before the age of 20 and presents common symptoms of stiffness in the legs, clumsiness, cognitive function decline, changes in behavior, seizures, and difficulty swallowing, chewing and speaking.

Huntington’s Disease is a degenerative neurological disorder which leads to loss of muscle coordination, cognitive decline, and psychiatric issues in all individuals afflicted with the condition, including those with Juvenile HD. Physical coordination eventually becomes impossible and mental capacity eventually declines to dementia.

Juvenile HD and can lead to heart disease and other complications, like chronic pneumonia. Most do not live more than twenty years following the onset of symptoms, and Juvenile HD can progresses more quickly. Because the disease is progressive and there is no effective treatment, those who suffer from it require full time care in the later stages of decline.

A family history of HD prompts more rigorous attention to the overall condition of children born into the family. For this reason, Juvenile HD is often diagnosed early in its development. Diagnosis is suspected based on familial history and obvious symptoms. The diagnosis is confirmed by genetic testing.

Because there are no medications or other effective means of slowing the disease’s progression or stopping the development of additional symptoms, little can be done other than supportive care and therapy and treatment which focus on the alleviation of symptom severity.

As Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease affects people 20 and younger, most SSD claims with this diagnosis are filed by parents seeking benefits on behalf of their children. Applying for SSD for a minor is somewhat different than for disabled adult. While the process may vary slightly, documentation necessary for proving a disability is essentially the same.

Extensive medical records must be present in any application for SSD in order for that claim to be approved. This is still true even when a condition falls under the CAL program. The diagnosis of Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease alone is not enough to substantiate disability.

You must include all of your test results and other medical records as well as statements from your various doctors in your claim as well. The more detailed the information is you’re able to provide, the more likely your claim will be approved quickly and without further need for secondary reviews or appeals.

Your Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease Social Security Disability Case

While Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease was recently added to the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances list, this does not guarantee a claim filed with this diagnosis will automatically be approved. You must still show proof of diagnosis and other medical documentation in order to be approved for benefits.

Hiring a disability attorney can make the claims process run more smoothly and can shorten the wait time for SSD 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 Juvenile Onset Huntington’s Disease, request a free case evaluation today.