The Social Security Administration (SSA) first introduced the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008. The purpose of the program was to identify conditions which, by their very nature, automatically qualify those who suffer from them for Social Security disability benefits. Essentially, the SSA recognized that certain conditions were so debilitating that everyone who has them can reasonably be assumed to meet the qualifications for complete disability.
Those who qualify for a compassionate allowance go through a somewhat different claims process than other disabled persons. Because their condition automatically qualifies them for disability benefits, they only need to show proof of their diagnosis in their claim. Social Security disability claims which are based on conditions which qualify for a compassionate allowance are essentially shuffled to the top of the deck and given first priority.
At present, the SSA recognizes 201 conditions which qualify for Compassionate Allowances. This includes 30 conditions which were added in December 2012. Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome was amongst these new conditions.
Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome - Conditions and Symptoms
Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome is a brain development disorder. Most of the victims are male. Development is affected from while still in the mother’s womb, though it is not generally detected until early childhood. Alternate names for the condition include:
- MCT8 Specific Thyroid Hormone Cell Transporter Deficiency
- MCT8 SLC16A2
- X-linked Intellectual Deficit (with Hypotonia)
- MCT8 Deficiency
- Monocarboxylate Transporter 8 Deficiency
Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome (AHDS) is inherited and is caused by a genetic mutation. Some of the most common symptoms associated with the condition include:
- Hypotonia (weak muscle tone)
- Intellectual disability (ranges from moderate to severe)
- Muscle hypoplasia (underdevelopment)
- Communication and speech difficulty
- Buildup of T3 in the blood stream to toxic levels
- Lack of head control
- Distinctive ear folding
- Joint contractures
- Elongated facial features
- Poor growth
There is no cure at present for Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome. There are treatments which are aimed at helping those with AHDS and those who care for them to cope with the symptoms caused by the condition. The exact treatments prescribed depend on the symptoms being dealt with.
Applying for Social Security Disability with Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome
Chances are, if you are applying for Social Security disability benefits based on AHDS, you are doing so on behalf of a dependent. Because those with AHDS do not generally have the opportunity to work, they are not generally eligible for SSD. However, if they fall within the income guidelines, they will qualify for SSI and/or Medicare.
Because AHDS has been approved for the Compassionate Allowances program, there is no need to concern yourself with whether benefits will be approved. The diagnosis alone is sufficient to qualify the claimant for disability benefits. You will need to show proof of the AHDS diagnosis, which generally includes:
- Diagnostic blood testing showing elevated T3 levels and decreased T4 levels in the blood stream
- Doctor’s description of physical findings consistent with the AHDS diagnosis
- Diagnostic genetic testing which shows mutations in the SLC16A2 or MCT8 gene
Your Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome Disability Case
Most AHDS Social Security disability claims will be approved within a matter of a few weeks. If your claim is not approved within two months, you should consider speaking to a Social Security disability lawyer. If you have not filed yet, you may consider speaking to a Social Security disability attorney before doing so. Your Social Security attorney can help put your claim together, ensuring that all needed documentation is included and complete.