MECP2 Duplication Syndrome and Social Security Disability
Prior to the introduction of the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program, all Social Security Disability were processed the same way. Unfortunately, due to the severity of some applicants’ conditions, they did not have the physical ability to handle the extensive amount of time it takes to have a disability claim approved. As a solution to this problem, the Social Security Administration introduced the Compassionate Allowances program.
This program allows individuals with critical conditions to qualify for disability benefits in less than two weeks. When the program was first started in 2008, there were only 50 conditions that qualified for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Now, in 2013, there are approximately 200 different conditions that qualify. MECP2 Duplication Syndrome is one of these conditions.
MECP2 Duplication Syndrome Condition and Symptoms
MECP2 Duplication syndrome is a genetic condition that causes an extra copy of the MECP2 gene on the X chromosome in each cell of the body. Since MECP2 only affects the X chromosome, the condition is almost exclusively found in males. The majority of individuals who inherit this disorder, however, inherit it from their mothers. Mothers who carrier the genetic defect have a 50 percent chance of passing the duplication on to their children. The condition itself causes severe neurodevelopmental disorders such as diminished muscle tone, muscle spasticity, developmental delays, poor speech development, chronic respiratory infections, seizures and intellectual disabilities.
Symptoms of MECP2 Duplication Syndrome can vary from case to case. Symptoms commonly associated with the disorder include:
- Decreased muscle tone
- Severe intellectual disability
- Behavior consistent with those who have autism
- Communication limitations
- Chronic infections as a result of immunodeficiency
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Teeth grinding
- Excessive drooling
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome
Applying for disability benefits with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome requires specific medical evidence. If an applicant fails to provide this evidence, his or her claim may be delayed or even denied. The following medical documentation should be collected and sent to the SSA along with the initial application:
- A clinical history and physical examination that describes the diagnostic features of the impairment.
- Laboratory findings to confirm diagnosis.
- Developmental assessment or psychological testing to address mental impairments.
Treatment for MECP2 Duplication Syndrome is determined on a case-by-case basis. There is no cure for the disorder so treatment is usually supportive in nature. Treatment may include physical and occupational therapy as well as speech therapy to help with communication and swallowing problems. Assistive devices such as wheelchairs and communication boards may also be necessary.
MECP2 Duplication Syndrome and Your Social Security Disability Case
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits without retaining an attorney. Doing so, however, may not be in the best interest of your disability claim. By working with a disability lawyer, you can ensure that your claim is not delayed or denied due to improperly completed claim forms or a lack of medical evidence. Your attorney can help you fill out the necessary paperwork and submit them to the SSA efficiently and effectively. He or she can also help you gather the medical evidence that the SSA will need in order to approve your disability claim.
Click here to find out more about applying for disability benefits due to MECP2 Duplication Syndrome or to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability claim.