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Seckel Syndrome and Social Security Disability

Seckel Syndrome is a congenital disorder that causes a particular type of dwarfism. The disorder is marked by stunted growth in and out of the womb, as well as reduced brain and head development. Those with Seckel syndrome will likely exhibit some level of mental retardation, a low birth weight, and bird-like facial features.

The condition is rare and is linked with mutations within several different chromosomes. In addition to small size and abnormal facial structures, mental and neurological development is severely delayed. Those with Seckel syndrome may be at an increased risk for complications such as anemia and acute-myeloid leukemia. Seckel syndrome is usually diagnosed using a combination of physical examination and genetic testing.

While there is no cure for Seckel Syndrome, specific treatment programs can be prescribed to individual cases. These might include physical therapies and special education programs. Growth hormones and similar treatments have no effect on Seckel Syndrome, since the genetic cause is not related to growth hormone receptors. With appropriate early treatment and assistance, individuals with Seckel Syndrome can live relatively normal lives, though this may depend on access to therapies and additional care as a child.

Medical Eligibility

In order to receive Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must consider you to be disabled. Your specific medical condition will be evaluated according to the SSA’s guidebook of disabling conditions, the blue book, which contains medical requirements for all conditions considered disabling. The Social Security Disability application process can often take a long time to complete and even longer to receive a decision.

Some individuals with severe disabilities cannot afford to wait a long time to receive a decision on their claim, so the SSA developed a program to pay benefits quickly to those who have severe and obvious disabilities. This program is called compassionate allowances. Seckel Syndrome is one of several conditions included on the list of disorders eligible for compassionate allowances. Under this program, you may be able to begin receiving benefit payments within a matter of a month or two.

The Application Process

Compassionate allowances do not have a separate application process from Social Security Disability benefit programs. You must still complete the application thoroughly and completely, and the application may be completed during an interview with a SSA representative. If you are applying as an adult, you may also choose to apply online.

Before you begin the application, make sure you have any documentation required for the application, as well as all appropriate medical information on hand. Though compassionate allowances allow for approval based on minimal medical information, be sure to have access to medical records and treatment history, statements from doctors, and any lab tests that confirm the diagnosis.

The SSA may still deny your application, but if this is the case, you are entitled to an appeal within 60 days. Remember to complete the application fully and with as much information clearly supporting your claim as possible. This will minimize your risk of a rejection. The Social Security disability benefit application process is hard work, but the results can be well worth the trouble for someone with Seckel Syndrome.