Each year, the Social Security Administration receives millions of claims for Social Security Disability benefits. Many of these claims are filed by parents who have children who have been diagnosed with severely debilitating conditions. In the past, these parents had to wait months, if not years, for their child's disability claim to be approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This was largely due to the fact that as few as 30 percent of claims are approved by the SSA during the initial stage of the application process. Most applicants must pursue the lengthy disability appeal process in order to obtain the benefits to which they may be rightfully.
Many of the parents who file Social Security Disability claims for children who are severely or terminally disabled feel that the traditional wait times that are required for a disability approval are unfair and unreasonable. The Social Security Administration has recognized this fact, and in 2008 they implemented the Compassionate Allowances initiative to allow disability applicants suffering from severe disabilities to be approved for benefits in a matter of weeks.
There are 88 conditions that qualify an applicant for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, and Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy is one of these. If your child has been diagnosed with Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy, the following information will shed light on the Social Security Disability claim process and will show you how you can increase your chances of obtaining a quick and hassle-free approval of your child's disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy - Condition and Symptoms
Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy, also referred to as NALD, is a rare condition that results in a loss of the myelin that protects the nerve cells in the brain and causes progressive dysfunction of the adrenal gland. The condition only affects one in every 100,000 people.
There are three different types of NALD including Childhood Adrenoleukodystrophy, Adult-onset Adrenoleukodystrophy, and Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy. The neonatal form of the disease is one of the conditions included in the SSA's Compassionate Allowances listings.
Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy is caused by a genetic defect that results in the body's inability to break down long chains of fatty acids. As a result, these fatty acids build up in the brain and the body's adrenal glands, plasma, and fibroblasts. This makes it harder for the adrenal glands to convert cholesterol into steroids, which results in a loss of the myelin that protects the brain. As a result, the affected nerve cells cannot function as they normally would.
The severity of Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy will vary from patient to patient. Babies who are born with the condition may suffer from facial abnormalities, mental impairments, seizures, retinal degeneration, an enlarged liver, decreased muscle tone, and adrenal dysfunction.
Unfortunately there is no cure for Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy, so treatment for the condition is focused on supporting the patient and alleviating symptoms. Physical therapy, counseling, and special education classes may be able to aid some of the patients who suffer from the condition. Most patients will need to stay on a low-fat diet. While a supplement known as Lorenzo's Oil is able to reduce the amount of fatty acid build-up when used over long periods of time, it does not affect the rate of a patient's myelin loss. In most cases, patients who are diagnosed with this condition only live one to ten years after the symptoms of the disease present themselves.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy
If your child has been diagnosed with Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy, you may be worried about how you will be able to make ends meet for your family. In many cases, one parent must stop working to meet the needs of the child who has been diagnosed with this condition.
Fortunately, the financial stress caused by Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy may be alleviated somewhat if a child is approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
Although Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy is one of the 88 conditions that qualifies an individual for expedited claim processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, don’t assume that your application will be automatically approved by the Social Security Administration. You will still need to properly complete the paperwork for the Social Security Disability application and present the SSA with enough medical evidence to support your child's disability claim.
When filling out the Social Security Disability paperwork, make sure you answer all questions thoroughly with detailed explanations for the answers given. Also include a complete copy of your child's medical records, including test results and written statements from treating physicians. This evidence will be needed to support your child's claim for disability benefits.
Your Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy Social Security Disability Case
Some of the parents who file Social Security Disability claims for children who have been diagnosed with one of the 88 conditions that qualify a claim for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines incorrectly assume that their child's disability claim will be automatically approved by the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. While it is uncommon, Social Security Disability claims that are based on a Compassionate Allowances listing have been denied by the SSA. This is usually due to an improperly completed application or a lack of acceptable medical sources supporting the application. In some cases, it may be due to the fact that the adjudicator reviewing the file did not understand how the condition qualified for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
When you file your child's Social Security Disability claim, you want to make sure that you have the best possible chance of receiving an approval during the initial stage of the application process. The services of a Social Security Disability attorney may help you do this. The professional you hire can work with you to ensure that your child's disability claim is completed properly and that the necessary medical evidence is provided to the Social Security Administration. They will also ensure that your claim is presented in such a way that the adjudicator reviewing your file clearly understands how it qualifies for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
To learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowance listings, or to find out whether your child qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits due to a diagnosis of Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy, request a free evaluation of your disability case today.