Every year millions of applicants file Social Security Disability claims with the Social Security Administration, and the overwhelming majority of these applicants must wait three to four months to complete the initial application process alone. Unfortunately, approximately 70 percent of these initial applications are denied by the Social Security Administration.
These applicants must then go on to file a Request for Reconsideration, followed by a disability hearing. Statistically, more than 80 percent of reconsideration requests are also denied, so in order for most Social Security Disability applicants to obtain the disability benefits they must have a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. Depending on the area in which you live, it can take up to two years to have this hearing scheduled.
For some disability applicants who are faced with very severe disabilities, however, the lengthy and complicated application and appeal process that is required by the Social Security Administration is just not feasible. The Social Security Administration acknowledged this fact in 2008 by implementing the Compassionate Allowances initiative, a program under which some disability applicants can be approved for benefits in a matter of weeks, rather than months or even years. Parents who are applying for disability benefits for a child who has been diagnosed with infantile Krabbe Disease are among the applicants who can obtain faster approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
If your child has been diagnosed with infantile Krabbe Disease and you are wondering how the condition qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits, the following information will help you understand the disability claim process and how you can increase your chances of being awarded benefits under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Infantile Krabbe Disease (KD) - Condition and Symptoms
Infantile Krabbe Disease, also referred to as galactosylceramide lipidosis or globoid cell leukodystrophy, is a rare and often fatal disorder involving the myelin sheath of the body's nervous system. Krabbe Disease is a degenerative disorder that is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. On average, the condition only affects about one in every 100,000 children born in America.
Krabbe Disease is caused when a patient suffers from a mutation of the GALC gene, which is located on the 14th chromosome. This mutation results in a deficiency of the galactocerebrosidase enzyme, which results in a build-up of unmetabolized lipids. These lipids then affect the growth of the myelin sheath that protects the body's nervous system, resulting in a severe impairment of the individual's mental and motor skills.
While the symptoms of Krabbe Disease can vary from patient to patient, common symptoms of the condition include irritability, fever, limb stiffness, seizures, difficulty eating, vomiting, hearing impairments, spasticity, and the slowing of motor and mental development. In severe cases, patients suffering from Krabbe Disease may even experience paralysis. The symptoms of Krabbe Disease are not present at birth. In most cases, the symptoms of Krabbe Disease will not begin to manifest until the patient has reached between three to six months of age.
While it is possible for the condition to manifest during later childhood or even adulthood, these cases are usually not a severe as cases that develop in infancy. Because of this, infantile Krabbe Disease is the type of Krabbe Disease that qualifies for claim processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Children who are diagnosed with the infantile form of Krabbe Disease usually do not live beyond two years of age.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Infantile Krabbe Disease (KD)
Having your child diagnosed with infantile Krabbe Disease can be overwhelming, and in many cases a parent is unable to work due to the needs of the child. The resulting financial burden can be stressful, to say the least. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to offset some of the financial crisis caused by this condition.
When applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on a diagnosis of Krabbe Disease, it is crucial that you provide the Social Security Administration with as much medical evidence as possible to support your claim. Your child's medical records, lab results, and written statements from treating physicians will help support your claim for disability benefits. All of these records should be included with your disability claim and you should do everything possible to ensure that your claim is prepared properly to increase your chances of receiving approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Your Infantile Krabbe Disease (KD) Social Security Disability Case
Even though infantile Krabbe Disease is one of the 88 conditions that qualify an individual for faster claim approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances listings, don’t assume that your application for benefits will be automatically approved by the SSA. In some cases, claims based on a Compassionate Allowance listing are denied disability during the initial stage of the application process. While Compassionate Allowances claims are given higher priority during the appeal process than standard Social Security Disability claims, you should still do everything possible to avoid the disability appeals process. Because of this, you should consider retaining the services of a qualified disability advocate or attorney when filing your disability claim.
When hiring an attorney or advocate to represent you in your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, he or she will work with you to gather the medical evidence that will be needed to support your child's disability claim. Your advocate or attorney will also work with you to prepare your application properly, ensuring that the adjudicator who reviews your file will understand the severity of your condition and how it qualifies for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.