Millions of Americans suffer from disabling medical conditions that prevent them from earning income. This year alone, the Social Security Administration expects to receive more than three million applications for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, this massive number of applications results in major delays in processing times, and some applicants will wait more than a year before receiving their first disability payment.
In the case that a medical condition is so severe that an applicant simply cannot wait months or years for disability benefits to begin, the claim may qualify for expedited consideration under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program. Such is the case with individuals applying for Social Security Disability for a child who has been diagnosed with Alexander Disease.
If your child has been diagnosed with Alexander Disease, you may not have to wait months before being awarded the disability benefits you so desperately need. Instead, your application for Social Security Disability may be approved in a matter of weeks under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program. When applying for disability benefits, it is important to understand how the SSA reviews disability claims based on a diagnosis of Alexander Disease, and how you may be able to expedite your claim for benefits through the Social Security Disability program.
Alexander Disease (ALX) - Conditions and Symptoms
Alexander Disease is a very rare condition. Since the discovery of the condition in 1949, fewer than 600 cases of the disease have been reported.
When an individual suffers from Alexander Disease, the white matter in the brain begins to deteriorate. Small protein deposits, referred to as Rosenthal fibers, are deposited in the brain, causing damage to the tissue. In most cases, the condition is diagnosed before an individual reaches two years of age. In some cases, however, onset has been reported to occur in late childhood or even adulthood.
When an infant is suffering from Alexander Disease the baby will usually experience brain enlargement, seizures, stiffness in the legs and arms, delayed physical development and mental retardation. When the condition develops in later years, patients will experience speech issues, problems swallowing and poor coordination.
Alexander Disease is a genetic condition that results from a mutation in the GFAP gene. The majority of cases are due to new mutations in the GFAP gene and the disease is not passed down from parent to child.
There are a number of tests that can be conducted to diagnose a case of Alexander Disease. A physical exam will be performed to look for the tell-tale signs of the condition, such as an enlarged head. MRI tests will also be performed to look for changes in the brain that coincide with the disease. Genetic testing may also be conducted to diagnose the condition.
There is currently no cure for Alexander Disease and no standard course of treatment is available to help patients who are suffering from the condition. Instead, doctors will usually try to address the symptoms of the condition, making patients as comfortable as possible. While bone marrow transplant was thought to be a treatment option at one point, it has only been tried in one case and the outcome was unsuccessful.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Alexander Disease
Patients who are diagnosed with neonatal and infantile cases of Alexander Disease will qualify for disability benefits under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program. This means your application for disability benefits should be approved in a matter of weeks and that the lengthy and frustrating appeal process will, most likely, be avoided.
While the majority of applications are denied at the initial stage of the Social Security Disability application process, applying for disability benefits due to neonatal or infantile Alexander Disease will likely mean that your benefits will quickly be approved. You do, however, need to include as much medical documentation as possible proving the condition and diagnosis to increase your chances of receiving a favorable decision and faster approval times under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program.
Once your child has been diagnosed with Alexander Disease, gather up as much medical evidence as you can and submit your claim for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible. You will want to make sure you provide the SSA with the medical evidence needed to approve your claim quickly under the expedited application process allowed for by the Compassionate Allowances program.
Alexander Disease and Your Social Security Disability Case
Even though infantile and neonatal Alexander Disease is one of the 88 conditions that qualifies under the Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowances program, you may still wish to consider hiring a qualified Social Security attorney or advocate to represent you during your claim. Having proper representation through the claim process will ensure that your application for Social Security Disability benefits is submitted in the best light possible and that the adjudicator reviewing your claim understands the full extent of the Alexander Disease diagnosis.
If you would like to find out whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits or want to learn more about how the Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowances program works, click here for a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.