August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

Submitted by SJS on

Every year a month is devoted to a disability which is prevalent in the community.

August is spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) awareness month.

The organization that runs the awareness program is called Cure SMA which is the world’s leading organization for the debilitating condition and is committed to finding a cure for it.

SMA is the main genetic cause of death of infants.

Characteristics of SMA

SMA is a genetic neuromuscular disease.

It is a comparatively rare disorder which brings about a weakness in the skeletal and respiratory muscles.

It affects around 1 in 11,000 births, and an estimated 8 million Americans are genetic carriers.

It is caused by the absence of a gene called the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1).

This is the gene responsible for encoding the SMN protein.

This protein is vital for the survival and health of the spinal cord nerve cells which are responsible for muscle contraction.

How to Qualify For Disability Benefits for SMA

SMA appears in Section 11 of the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book list. Despite the Blue Book listing you still need to prove that the disability is serious enough for you to qualify for disability benefit payments.

This means you must be unable to make an income when you have SMA. The symptoms of SMA are as follows:

  • breathing problems;
  • decrease in muscle tone;
  • delayed gross motor skills;
  • limited mobility;
  • muscle weakness;
  • problems with eating and swallowing;
  • scoliosis, which is curving of the spine;
  • spontaneous tongue movements.

Many of the symptoms an SMA sufferer must deal with means it would be difficult to be employed at any time in the victim’s life until a cure is available.

The SSA understands the difficulty that some victims have, so it has initiated a faster route through the SSA disability benefit’s claim’s process.

This is called Compassionate Allowance (CA).

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

Compassionate Allowances

The SSA uses Compassionate Allowances as a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet the standards for SSA disability benefits.

It covers mainly some cancers, adult brain disorders, and several rare disorders like SMA that affect children.

The CA scheme helps to decrease waiting time for decisions about those who suffer from the most serious disabilities.

The CA program identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets the SSA statutory standard for a disability.

What is an RFC?

If you have had your disability benefits application denied for SMA you can ask your physician to conduct a residual functional capacity assessment in which s/he will put you through a series of tests related to your mobility and mental functioning.

The RFC will be used to support your disability benefit claim application.

How Disability Benefits Can Help

If you find it impossible to work or carry out everyday tasks, disability benefits help you cope financially like providing cash for help in the home or equipment that increases your mobility plus much more.Disability benefits are available to meet the financial needs of anyone whose disability stops them from working.

They can be used to meet every day needs and a portion can be saved for later. It prevents financial hardship which otherwise you would suffer because you are unable to work.

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