The average application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits takes a minimum of three months to be reviewed. Most initial applications are also denied benefits (about 70%) and therefore require individuals to proceed through a second review and usually an appeal hearing before receiving a final decision on their eligibility for benefits. The entire process can take a year or longer, with some applicants waiting as long as two years for their appeal to be completed.
Because those with terminal illnesses and very severe disabilities don’t have months or years to wait for disability benefits to come through, the Social Security Administration (SSA) established the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in 2008. Under CAL, there is a pre-approved list of conditions. When an application is filed based on one of these conditions, the claim qualifies for expedited processing.
There are currently 113 conditions active in the SSA’s CAL program and another 52 which were recently approved for inclusion on the list, including Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type. Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type and the other 51 conditions recently approved for expedited processing will become a formal part of the CAL program as of August 13, 2012.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of Early Infantile Galactosialidosis, the following information will help you understand the SSA’s disability claims process for this diagnosis. It will also give you some guidelines for increasing your chances of being quickly approved for disability benefits under the CAL guidelines of the SSA.
Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type – Condition and Symptoms
Galactosialidosis is a rare disorder in which a specific enzyme - Protective Protein/Cathepsin A (PPCA) – is not produced by the body. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down long-strain sugars into essential component parts that are then used by the body in a number of ways.
Because the enzyme is missing, the sugars in question collect in different places throughout the body, leading to a range of symptoms, including liver and spleen enlargement, fluid retention and skeletal changes, especially in the spine. Delays in cognitive and motor skill development are also commonly present in infants with Galactosialidosis.
The early infantile type of Galactosialidosis usually develops shortly after birth and progresses rapidly. Later symptoms include enlarged heart and kidney function impairment. Most infants with this disorder do not live beyond one year of age and heart and/or kidney failure are the most common causes of death.
Because there is no effective cure or treatment for Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type, treatment instead focuses on keeping the infant as comfortable as possible by lessening the severity of symptoms including fluid retention and pain.
Caring for a terminally ill child is difficult enough without having to jump through multiple hoops waiting for disability benefits to be approved. The SSA recognizes this and has approved Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type for expedited review and approval under the Compassionate Allowances program.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type
Getting a diagnosis of Early Infantile Galactosialidosis is devastating and the last thing you’re probably thinking of is how to prove the disability to the SSA. While the condition’s addition to the CAL list means you won’t have to fight as hard or as long for benefits, you will still need to substantiate the claim for disability. This means including extensive medical documentation within your application for SSDI.
Filing for disability on behalf of a child is somewhat different than it is for disabled adults. While the standard processes and review procedures vary slightly, the extent and type of documentation required remains the same. You should include all of the medical records available in your application.
Lab tests and other diagnostic results should also be included. Statements from every physician who has treated the condition should also be present in your application. The more records you’re able to include in your application the better your chances of proving beyond a doubt your eligibility for SSDI benefits and for preventing delays in the approval process.
Your Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type Social Security Disability Case
While Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type was recently approved for addition to the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances list, the diagnosis alone will not be enough to guarantee approval for disability benefits. You must still show substantial proof of disability within your application. Hiring a disability attorney can make the claims process run more smoothly and can shorten the wait time for SSDI benefits as well.
To learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowance listings or to discover whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with a diagnosis of Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type, request a free case evaluation today.