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Anterior Poliomyelitis and Social Security Disability

Anterior Poliomyelitis- Conditions and Symptoms

Anterior Poliomyelitis, often called acute anterior poliomyelitis, or simply polio, is the major illness associated with poliomyelitis. It is believed to be an infectious viral disease, though there is much that is still unknown regarding its causes. The disease most often strikes infants and young children, though victims may be of any age or gender.

In any case, the disease affects the central nervous system, attacking neurons that control motor function. Anterior poliomyelitis is a neurological disorder, but its major effects are on its victim’s extremities. The destruction of motor neurons leads to a lack of control of the affected limbs, which eventually leads to muscle weakness and atrophy.

The condition has been known to be epidemic. Since the 1950s, there has been an effective vaccine, which has sharply reduced the number of anterior poliomyelitis in the United States and worldwide. Whereas there were once several hundred thousand new cases of polio every year, that number has dropped drastically to about 1,000 new cases per year, most of them in developing countries.

The major symptoms of polio are the loss of motor functioning and the resulting muscle weakness and atrophy (wasting away). This is asymmetrical, meaning that it may affect one arm or leg and not the other.

The onset of anterior poliomyelitis is generally quite fast. Its first symptoms are typically convulsions and/or chills which come on suddenly. This is followed quickly by fever, with temperatures often reaching 102 or even 103 degrees. Other typical symptoms in the first day or two after the onset of anterior poliomyelitis include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitching, back pain, headaches and pain in the limbs. Paralysis generally begins within a day or two of the infection.

This condition almost always leaves its victim with at least one unusable limb. Fortunately, the disease has been all but eradicated from the United States, with the last case from natural causes occurring in 1979.

Filing for Disability Benefits with an Anterior Poliomyelitis Diagnosis

Fortunately, there has been little need for people to apply for Social Security Disability with an anterior poliomyelitis diagnosis in the United States because our country has not had a naturally occurring case of the disease in over 30 years. However, if you should find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your child or yourself come down with anterior poliomyelitis, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

The specifics of qualifying for disability benefits with anterior poliomyelitis are covered in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments Manual, more colloquially called the Blue Book. They can be found in Sections 11.00, which gives general information about how the SSA adjudicates neurological disorders, in Section 11.11, which deals specifically with anterior poliomyelitis, and in Section 11.04B, which is used to define complete disability for most neurological disorders that result in the loss of motor function.

To qualify forSocial Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, you must have one or more of the following conditions resulting from anterior poliomyelitis:

  • Constant breathing or swallowing problems.
  • Loss or lack of ability to speak intelligibly.
  • Loss of effective use of two or more limbs (arms, hands, feet, legs).

When you apply for disability benefits, whether on your own behalf or for your child with anterior poliomyelitis, make sure to have all medical documentation that has led to the diagnosis. In most cases, a polio diagnosis is a fairly simple matter, as the disease is readily recognized by the rapid deterioration of the affected limb(s). You will want to make sure that all medical documentation thoroughly expresses any loss of motor function in all affected limbs and the effects this has on the ability to use those limbs.

It is worth noting that, even if you don’t qualify for disability benefits as a result of one of the three qualifying conditions listed under anterior poliomyelitis, you may still be able to qualify for benefits if you can show that your residual functional capacity has been compromised to the point that you can no longer continue working with your disabilities. To do this, you will want to make sure that you spell out any and all disabling conditions that affect you, including those which are not related to anterior poliomyelitis.

Your Anterior Poliomyelitis Disability Case

Even if you are qualified for Social Security Disability benefits, obtaining them can be a long and grueling process. It typically takes several months after you apply before anyone from the SSA even looks at your application for benefits. When they do, the least omissions or mistakes can cause your claim to be denied. A full 70% of claims are denied the first time through.

Many claimants find it helpful to have a Social Security Disability lawyer help them with their claims. The chances of having a claim approved rise dramatically when you are represented by competent counsel, both during the initial claim and during the appeals process. To have a Social Security Disability lawyer review your claim, fill out the request for a free evaluation included on this page.