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Compassionate Allowance - Aortic Atresia

Over the last generation or so, the understanding within the medical community regarding the causes and progression of heart disease has grown explosively. We have come to a much deeper understanding about the mechanisms by which the heart muscle begins to lose function or is damaged in some way. Central to most of this understanding has been the impact of lifestyle choices, especially the negative ones, on our heart health.

Since a great deal of this discussion has involved the adult heart and adult lifestyle decisions, the perception has been that heart problems are an adult issue. The reality is that children suffer from heart ailments and disorders, often due to malformations in the heart’s structure during the critical first trimester of prenatal development. Because the majority of the baby’s nourishment and oxygen are delivered through the umbilical cord these defects often don’t surface until delivery, catching the parents off guard and unprepared.

In instances like this, Social Security Disability benefits can help by providing some measure of financial support, which is particularly helpful if the parents must miss extended periods of work. While these benefits have historically been rather difficult to access, recent changes in the manner in which the claims for some conditions are handled have led to greatly reduced approval times.

Under a program known as Compassionate Allowances, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has established a subgroup of illness and conditions which are intrinsically debilitating enough to automatically warrant disability status. This list of conditions has recently been updated to include a number of congenital cardiac defects. Individuals diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions automatically qualify to receive disability benefits.

If you are the parent of a child who has been born with one of these conditions, it is essential that you begin the application process as soon as you can in order to avoid delays to your disability benefits.

Aortic Atresia – Condition and Symptoms

The main function of the heart is to pump blood. It does this through a series of muscular contractions, all perfectly timed to move the blood in several directions at once. Oxygen-poor blood is pumped to the lungs to receive more oxygen, and then returned to the heart where it is pumped out to the rest of the body to distribute the oxygen. And so it goes in a continuous cycle.

The main blood vessel leaving the heart is the aorta. It exits through the top of the heart, where it then arches and splits into several smaller arteries. In an average adult, the size of the aorta is roughly equivalent to the diameter of a garden hose. At the point where the aorta connects with the left ventricle of the heart is a valve, known as the aortic valve. This valve is essentially a pair of flaps which swing open, much the same way a one-way door does; they open in one direction only so blood can flow outward but not back in.

In some infants this valve doesn’t form correctly, a condition known as Aortic Atresia. Because of the absence of this valve, oxygenated blood cannot exit the heart. As a result, the only way for blood to escape the heart is through a structure called the ductus arteriosus, which typically closes shortly after birth.

Symptoms of Aortic Atresia include a heart murmur, blue-gray skin color, irritability, difficulty breathing, and low energy. Aortic Atresia is the leading cause of neo-natal death.

Treatment for Aortic Atresia initially involves medication given to keep the ductus arteriosus from closing. While this approach works well for a short time, it is not a long-term solution. Depending on the severity of the defect, the condition may respond to surgical interventions.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Aortic Atresia

If your child was born with Aortic Atresia, he or she will certainly qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, because this is one of the conditions which have been recently added to the list of those which are eligible under Compassionate Allowance guidelines. While approval for a disability claim for this condition is a virtual certainty, you would do very well to have your case reviewed by a Social Security Disability attorney.

When applying for disability benefits, it is important to remember that you are completing a legal document which contains detailed medical information. Any errors in either of these domains could result in the denial of your claim. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney has expertise in both aspects and can make sure your claim is filed properly the first time.

Your Aortic Atresia Social Security Disability case

If your child has been diagnosed with Aortic Atresia, you can take comfort in knowing that some relief is on the way in the form of disability benefits. To make sure those benefits get to you and your family as quickly as possible, have your case evaluated by a disability lawyer. To initiate the process of having a disability lawyer review your case, please >click here for more information about hiring a disability attorney.