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Lowe's Syndrome and Social Security Disability

Lowe Syndrome, a rare but severely debilitating condition usually detected before or shortly after birth, was recently added to the SSA’s list of Compassionate Allowance diseases and conditions. This is a list of over 100 diseases that have been identified through research and public hearings as diagnoses which are the most likely to qualify someone for Social Security Disability with a minimum of additional medical documentation.

When applying for SSDI, it is not uncommon to wait several months for the determination process to be completed. With the increase in disability claims being filed in recent years, the SSA found it necessary to take steps to quickly identify and prioritize cases which are the most crucial.

The Compassionate Allowance program allows the SSA’s claims processing system to tag these diseases and conditions and fast track their progress through the disability application process.

Lowe Syndrome - Conditions & Symptoms

Lowe Syndrome was identified in 1952 by Dr. Charles Lowe and a team of doctors. The cause of Lowe Syndrome is a defect in a gene known as OCRL1, which in turn fails to produce an essential enzyme needed for body functions. The disabling medical and mental conditions this causes mainly affect the brain, eyes, and kidneys. Because of this, it is also known as oculo-cerebral-renal disease, or OCRL. Although symptoms of Lowe Syndrome are well known and documented, its presence is verified by enzyme analysis and DNA testing for the defective gene.

Lowe Syndrome appears almost exclusively in male babies. Infants with Lowe Syndrome will have severe cataracts on both eyes at birth, and stand a 50% chance of having glaucoma as well. After one year of age, many Lowe Syndrome children will start to exhibit kidney dysfunction wherein the kidneys start excreting additional substances in the urine which are essential to the body and must be replaced. Other physical symptoms are poor motor skill development, shortness, susceptibility to bone breakage and disease, and seizures.

Another key symptom of Lowe Syndrome is mental retardation, ranging from mild to severe, which may be accompanied by behavior problems. However, most Lowe Syndrome kids are outgoing, funny, and affectionate.

Because of these severe medical and mental disabilities, people with Lowe Syndrome are not expected to live past the age of 40.

Treatment of Lowe Syndrome varies depending on the body systems affected. It cannot be cured but surgery, medication, and physical and special education can effectively treat its symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with the condition.

Applying for Social Security Disability with Lowe Syndrome

Although Lowe Syndrome is not otherwise listed as a qualifying condition in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments provided by the SSA, it has been identified recently as a Compassionate Allowance qualifying condition.

As with other impairments, Lowe Syndrome must be clearly diagnosed in all medical documentation provided when applying for SSDI or SSI. Lowe Syndrome is diagnosed through specialized enzyme analysis and DNA testing to identify the enzyme deficiency and genetic mutation which cause Lowe Syndrome. Medical documentation must show the presence of a mutation in the OCRL1 gene, as well as supporting evidence from physical symptoms known to be caused from Lowe Syndrome.

The standard symptoms of Lowe Syndrome involve cataracts and glaucoma, both of which are covered in Section 2 of the Listing of Impairments, and are evaluated by this criteria. The qualifying conditions of impaired kidney function, also symptomatic of Lowe Syndrome, are covered in Section 6 (Genitourinary Impairments). The mental retardation caused from Lowe Syndrome is qualified using the criteria from Section 12, Mental Disorders.

Although the disabilities which accompany Lowe Syndrome are well-documented, it is necessary for your medical records to show that your case of Lowe Syndrome is severely disabling and keeps you from performing necessary job functions and earning income.

Early identified cases of Lowe Syndrome in children and young adults who have not met the minimum years of work requirement will not qualify you or your loved one for Social Security Disability Insurance, but may meet the requirements for Supplemental Security Income with a Compassionate Allowance.

Your Lowe Syndrome Social Security Disability Case

Lowe Syndrome is a very disabling condition which highly qualifies you for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSI with consideration under the Compassionate Allowance initiative. Although the Compassionate Allowance program is designed to quickly identify your Lowe Syndrome case and prioritize its processing, it is necessary to make sure all medical documentation is accurate and substantial so the system can work properly and a Compassionate Allowance can be granted.

Even when covered under a Compassionate Allowance listing, employing the assistance of an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer will greatly increase your chances of receiving a quick, positive determination for benefits so you can receive the assistance you need for your disabling condition.