Most people who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits will spend at least four months waiting for their application to be reviewed by the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. The DDS is the agency which examines disability claims under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) guidelines for a qualifying disability.
For a number of reasons, the DDS finds the majority of applications ineligible for SSDI – about 70 percent. This means most applicants must undergo a second review and may eventually need to attend an appeal hearing, if their claim is denied the second time around. This entire process can take a year or more to complete, and some applicants wait as long as two years for a final decision from the SSA.
Because people who have very severe disabilities and terminal illnesses don’t have months or years to wait for a decision on their eligibility for SSDI benefits, the SSA launched the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in 2008. Under the guidelines of CAL, the DDS can expedite the review and approval of claims which are based on specific kinds of disabilities.
Currently, there are 113 disabling conditions which are among the SSA’s CAL list. An additional 52 were recently approved for the list, including Glioma Grade III and IV, which will become an active condition in the CAL program as of August 13, 2012.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of Glioma Grade III or IV, the information that follows may help you understand how the SSA reviews disability claims for the specific condition. The following information will also provide you some guidelines for seeing a quick and smooth approval of disability benefits under the CAL guidelines of the SSA.
Glioma Grade III and IV – Condition and Symptoms
Glioma is a form of cancer which starts in the spine or brain. Grade III and IV refers to the stage to which the disease has progressed. The first symptoms of Glioma are usually visual and speech impairment, difficulty thinking, and balance and coordination problems.
Because these symptoms can also be associated with a number of other conditions, diagnostic examination is required to diagnose Glioma. Tests commonly used include MRIs, CT scans, PET scans and other brain scans. Usually, a neurologist will also use an angiogram, which includes the use of dye and x-rays to get a more conclusive image of tumors and the degree of their invasion into brain or spinal tissue.
A biopsy is also required for a definitive diagnosis of Glioma, as other forms of cancer can spread to the brain and spine. Gliomas look different in biopsy results because they originate in the brain or spine. Other tumors originate elsewhere and spread to these areas.
Gliomas can occur in anyone at any age but are still considered a relatively rare form of cancer. Unfortunately, early warning signs are often missed or confused with symptoms of other conditions. Because of this, Glioma often has the chance to worsen before a definitive diagnosis is received. In other cases, the placement of the tumor makes it inoperable, which means other treatment measures must be used and may or may not be effective.
Glioma treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, medications and experimental therapies. Even Glioma Grade III and IV can sometimes respond to these treatments; however, in some cases, Glioma is terminal.
No matter how Glioma Grade III and IV respond to treatment, the affects of the disease are severely disability. The side effects of treatment are equally so. The SSA recognizes this and has approved Glioma Grade III and IV for expedited review and approval under the Compassionate Allowances program as a result.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Glioma Grade III and IV
When applying for disability benefits with any diagnosis, you must include substantial medical documentation in your claim. In the case of Glioma Grade III and IV applications, this includes documentation of diagnosis, treatment and current condition.
The various test and lab results, including MRI, CT scan, biopsy and other diagnostic tests should also be in your application. In addition to all of these findings, your application for SSDI benefits should include statements from all of your doctors, including the physician who originally suspected a bigger problem as well as those who diagnosed and have treated you.
The more detailed the documentation you’re able to have in your initial application for disability benefits, the less likely you will experience delays in getting the SSDI payments to which you may be entitled.
Your Glioma Grade III and IV Social Security Disability Case
While Glioma Grade III and IV are approved by the SSA for expedited claims processing under the CAL program, the diagnosis alone is not enough to prove eligibility for benefits. You must still substantiate your disability. A Social Security Disability attorney can assist you in putting together your application and getting the appropriate documentation for proving disability.
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 Glioma Grade III and IV, request a free case evaluation today.