Millions of Americans are faced with long-term disabilities that they did not expect to suffer. As a result, they are unable to work or earn an income to support themselves or their families. Without any means of income, the bills quickly pile up and the ability to meet day-to-day living expenses becomes a significant hardship. These disabled workers expect Social Security Disability benefits to be there for them when these situations arise.
In other cases, the disabilities affect the children of hard-working American citizens. The resulting financial hardship that is caused by the child's condition should be alleviated by Social Security Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, in the past, the individuals who needed these benefits the most had to fight long and hard for them.
Statistically, nearly two-thirds of Social Security Disability claims are denied during the initial stage of the application process. These applicants must then join the backlog of disability appeals that are currently in the Social Security system. Due to the significant backlog that the SSA is facing, these appeals can take two or more years to complete.
What happens when a disability applicant is facing a condition that is so severe that it warrants immediate attention? What if waiting two or more years for disability benefits is out of the question? In 2008 the SSA answered these questions by implementing the Compassionate Allowances Listings.
Under the Compassionate Allowances Listings an applicant can qualify for disability benefits in just a few weeks rather than having to wait months or years before benefits can begin. Until recently, there were only 88 conditions that would qualify an applicant for Compassionate Allowances processing. In 2011 the SSA introduced 12 more conditions to its Compassionate Allowances program, including mitral valve atresia.
If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with mitral valve atresia, the following information will help you understand how the SSA processes claims that are based on this condition and how you can increase your chances of a hassle-free approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Mitral Valve Atresia Condition and Symptoms
Mitral valve atresia is a congenital defect of the heart. This defect is rare, causing the mitral valve of the heart to develop incorrectly. In a normal and healthy heart, the mitral valve consists of two different leaflets which work to allow the passage of oxygenated blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle of the heart. When an individual suffers from mitral valve atresia, the flow of blood to the mitral valve is either severely reduced or completely cut off.
When this reduction or cut-off of blood flow occurs, the left ventricle of the heart does not get enough blood. As a result, the ventricle becomes small and under-developed. If an infant with this condition survives into adulthood, it will eventually lead to problems with functioning of the heart and a worsening of the condition, leaving the individual disabled and unable to perform substantial gainful work activity.
While the symptoms of mitral valve atresia vary depending on the severity of the condition and the age at which it presents itself, common symptoms include difficulty breathing, cool and clammy skin and a blue tint to the lips and skin.
If mitral valve atresia is diagnosed, the treatment will vary depending on how far the condition has progressed and how severe it is. Infants are usually provided with medicine and surgeries. Adults are normally monitored to see if medication is needed and to check for infection.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Mitral Valve Atresia
If you or your child have been diagnosed with mitral valve atresia, it is important that you understand that even though the condition is covered under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances Listings, that does not mean an automatic approval of your Social Security Disability benefits. You will need to fill out the claim forms properly and will need to provide the SSA with the proper medical documentation in order to prove your case to the adjudicator who will be reviewing your file.
When filing a Social Security Disability claim due to mitral valve atresia, it is crucial that you include proper medical proof with your claim forms. This includes a clinical description of your physician's findings, operative reports, cardiology consultation reports and electrocardiogram result as well as medical imaging results.
You must also fill out the claim forms in their entirety. Be as detailed as possible when answering the questions on these forms. The more information you provide, the more likely it will be that the adjudicator who is reviewing your claim will understand how and why it qualifies for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Mitral Valve Atresia and Your Social Security Disability Case
Many of the individuals who file Social Security Disability claims that are based on a diagnosis that is included in the Compassionate Allowances Listings assume that their claim will be automatically approved by the Social Security Administration. While having a condition that is included in the Compassionate Allowances Listing does increase your chances of a disability approval, it does not guarantee it.
If you want to increase your chances of obtaining a hassle-free approval of your Social Security Disability case, you should consider consulting with a qualified disability attorney or advocate. These professionals can help ensure that you fill out your claim forms properly and that you provide sufficient evidence to the Social Security Administration during the initial stage of the application process.