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NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease and Social Security Disability

In 2013 alone, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will receive more than three-million applications for Social Security Disability benefits. The sheer volume of applications combined with Social Security cutbacks has only added to the backlog of applicants waiting to be approved for benefits. It will take years before some applicants see a single payment from the Social Security Administration.

Unfortunately, due to the serious nature of some applicants’ conditions, they cannot wait years or even months to be approved. In 2008, the SSA recognized this and introduced Compassionate Allowances. Under the Compassionate Allowance program, applicants with certain conditions can be approved for disability benefits in as little as ten days. Initially, only 50 conditions qualified for compassionate allowance processing. Today, nearly 200 disabilities and illnesses have been added to the list. Among these conditions is NFU-1 mitochondrial disease.

NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease Condition and Symptoms

NFU-1 mitochondrial disease is a genetic disorder that is caused by mutations in the NFU1 gene. This genetic mutation results in multiple mitochondrial dysfunctions. NFU-1 mitochondrial disease affects the gene that encodes a protein that is localized to mitochondria. This protein plays a critical role in the cluster biogenesis of iron-sulfur. The mutation of the gene prevents the mitochondria from doing their job properly. Symptoms of the condition can vary from one case to the next. The most common symptoms include:

  • General weakness
  • Respiratory failure
  • Lack of neurological development
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Hyperglycinemia
  • Failure to thrive
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Hypotonia
  • Irritability

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits you must provide the Social Security Administration with medical evidence that supports your claim. For individuals applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with NFU-1 mitochondrial disease, you must provide the SSA with:

  • Medical records including clinical findings of the features associated with the disease
  • Blood or urine testing for lactic acidosis
  • Hyperglycinemia carnitine analysis
  • Amino acid analysis
  • Cerebral imaging
  • Muscle biopsy
  • Laboratory testing showing results of genetic chromosome testing or enzyme analysis

Unfortunately there is no cure for this disorder. Treatment for NFU-1 mitochondrial disease is used to address symptoms and typically focuses on making the patient as comfortable as possible. Most of the individuals who are born with this condition do not survive beyond the first two years of life.

NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease and Your Social Security Disability Case

The SSA does not require that applicants have legal representation to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. However, having an attorney represent you will only increase your chances of approval. Your attorney will make sure that your initial application is not denied because of technical mistakes or lacking medical evidence.

Click here to find out more about applying for disability benefits due to NFU-1 mitochondrial disease or to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.