On average, applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits take four or more months for the initial review to be completed, and for a variety of reasons, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies the majority of applications (about 70%) following the initial review as well. When an initial application for disability benefits is denied, the applicant must go through a reconsideration review and will eventually need to file an appeal, if he or she is denied benefits a second time. Altogether, this entire process can take a year or more to complete.
As those individuals who suffer from very severe disabilities and terminal illnesses don’t have months or years to wait for a decision on their eligibility for benefits, the SSA has alternative review and approval processes in place for addressing claims filed with certain diagnoses. Under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program, a list of clearly and inarguably disabling conditions exists. Claims which are filed for SSD with a diagnosis on the CAL list are expedited in order to provide benefits in a timelier manner to those who need them most.
At present, there are 113 disabling conditions which are among the SSA’s CAL list, though 52 additional conditions were recently approved for inclusion in the CAL program effective August 13, 2012, including Medulloblastoma with Metastases.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of Medulloblastoma, the information that follows may help you understand how the SSA reviews disability claims for the specific condition. It will also provide you some guidelines for seeing a quick and smooth approval of disability benefits under the CAL guidelines of the SSA.
Medulloblastoma with Metastases – Condition and Symptoms
Medulloblastoma is a form of cancer which develops in the brain, specifically in the cerebellum or posterior fossa. It is an aggressive form of cancer. Brain tumors of this sort grow quickly, but metastatic Medulloblastoma is relatively rare. When the cancer does spread to other areas of the body, the bones and bone marrow are the most common place in which new tumors develop, though they can occur anywhere, including the lungs, abdomen and lymph nodes and other soft tissue.
Medulloblastoma can develop at any age, but children are the most at risk for developing this form of cancer. In its early stages, much can be done, including surgical removal of tumors, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Metastatic tumors are sometimes present at the time of diagnosis, though more commonly, they develop later, often after the disease has been in remission for years. In many cases of Metastatic Medulloblastoma at the time of diagnosis, patients are children, having developed the disease very early and the illness progresses rapidly.
The early symptoms of Medulloblastoma include listlessness, frequent vomiting, and headaches, especially in the morning. Later symptoms include dizziness, a stumbling gait and frequent falls, nerve palsy and other indications of neurological issues. The symptoms associated with Metastatic Medulloblastoma vary widely and depend on the location and number of tumors and the age of the patient.
The diagnosis of primary Medulloblastoma sometimes takes months, as the early stages of the illness mimic common medical issues like the stomach flu or migraine headaches. Once discovered, surgical removal of the Medulloblastoma is required. Patient may undergo chemotherapy and radiation. Close monitoring is required in order to catch and treat Metastatic Medulloblastoma early, though once the cancer has spread, the prognosis is not good. Additionally, those affected by the condition commonly develop dementia and other symptoms following surgical removal of the primary brain tumor.
Even with early intervention, Medulloblastoma usually has only about a five year survival rate. Metastatic Medulloblastoma significantly increases the rate of decline. The SSA, recognizing the affects of this illness has approved the condition for a Compassionate Allowance for disability benefits.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Medulloblastoma with Metastases
Although Medulloblastoma with Metastases has been approved by the SSA for faster review and approval according to CAL guidelines, this does not mean your application will automatically be approved. You must still substantiate your claim by including expensive medical documentation in your application. Your application should contain all medical records, including labs and other test results as well as statements from the different physicians who’ve treated the condition. The more detail you can place in your application for SSD, the less likely you are to see delays in the review and approval of disability benefits.
Your Medulloblastoma with Metastases Social Security Disability Case
While Medulloblastoma with Metastases is now considered among the conditions with expedited review procedures under the Compassionate Allowances program of the SSA, filing a claim with the diagnosis does not guarantee approval for disability benefits. You must still present a well documented case file and application. A Social Security Disability attorney can assist you in putting together your application and can help you get the appropriate documentation for satisfying the SSA’s requirements.
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 Medulloblastoma with Metastases, fill out a request for a free case evaluation today.