Leber Congenital Amaurosis

A victim of Leber Congenital Amaurosis can qualify for disability benefits under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance Program. This is because the medical condition is so severe that the victim will be unable to work for at least 12 months and may never fully recover from Leber Congenital Amaurosis. This means the victim may qualify for the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances initiative which helps to fast track claims for disability benefits so that the victim doesn’t have to endure long wait times associated with claims for disability benefits.

What is Leber Congenital Amaurosis?

Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) is a disease that occurs in early childhood when the rods and cones found in the eye fail to develop properly resulting in severe vision loss. It is the most common cause of blindness in children. It is a genetic disorder that may be caused by defects in one of several genes, most commonly CEP290, CRB1, GUCY2D and REP65. The symptoms of LCA include:

  • the presence of glaucoma;
  • the presence of cataracts;
  • photophobia (hypersensitivity to light);
  • nystagmus, which is the involuntary twitching of the eyes;
  • little or no vision;
  • hyperopia, which is extreme farsightedness;
  • Franceschetti’s oculo-digital sign, which is when compulsive rubbing and poking of the eye with a finger takes place.

What is a Compassionate Allowance?

Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a quick way used by the SSA to identify diseases which are likely to meet the SSA’s requirements for disability benefits. These medical conditions include the following:

  • certain types of cancers;
  • adult brain disorders;
  • several rare disorders that typically affect children.

The CAL initiative helps to decrease waiting time for the SSA to reach a disability determination for a person diagnosed with the most severe disabilities. The Compassionate Allowances program identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or medical condition clearly meets the SSA requirements for eligibility for disability benefits. This is when an applicant for disability benefits will be unable to work for at least 12 months.

Do I Qualify for a Compassionate Allowance?

How Leber Congenital Amaurosis Can Qualify for a Compassionate Allowance

The information is provided in the SSA’s Blue Book and for Leber Congenital Amaurosis can this is in section 2.02, which is titled ‘Loss of Central Visual Acuity’. This section states that the remaining vision in the better eye after best correction is 20/200 or less to qualify for disability benefits.

Medical Evidence for Leber Congenital Amaurosis

LCA is diagnosed through ophthalmological and laboratory testing. Electroretinogram tests measure the function of the rods and cones. Also, a genetic workup can help identify the affected gene. The results of these tests can be used as evidence when applying for disability benefits.

Get Help With Your SSD Claim

A lawyer may be able to help you file a claim for disability benefits as long as you have the medical evidence that proves your diagnosis of Leber Congenital Amaurosis.

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