Ohtahara Syndrome is a very rare neurological disorder that usually manifests within the first three months of life. The condition is very debilitating and when an infant is diagnosed with such a condition, it can put added financial strain on the child’s family. It is not uncommon for the family to lose one income as a parent stays home to care for the needs of the child or for a family to incur significant expense hiring in-home care. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can offset some of this financial burden. While it is true that most disability claims are filed by adults who have become disabled and are no longer able to work, some claims are filed on behalf of children who have been diagnosed with a condition that qualifies for SSDI or SSI benefits. While it takes most applicants more than a year to obtain benefits from the SSA, children who have been diagnosed with Ohtahara Syndrome may be able to receive benefits more quickly under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Ohtahara Syndrome is one of the conditions that have been recently added to the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances listings. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, the following information will help you understand how you may be able to obtain disability benefits for your child in a matter of months under Compassionate Allowances claim processing.
Ohtahara Syndrome Condition and Symptoms
Ohtahara Syndrome (also referred to as Early Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy with Burst-Suppression or OS) is a rare neurological condition that is marked by seizures in infants, usually appearing within the first three months of life. The condition seems to affect boys more of than girls. The disorder is progressive and as the child grows older, symptoms worsen.
The symptoms of Ohtahara Syndrome can vary from case to case. Common symptoms include seizures, infantile spasms, mental impairments and impaired physical development. Some of the infants born with the condition show significant underdevelopment of part of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain and high voltage spike discharges in EEGs, which are then followed by little EEG activity, a pattern referred to as “burst suppression”.
There is no single cause of Ohtahara Syndrome. In many cases, children with the condition have severe atrophy involving both hemispheres of the brain. In rare cases, the disorder is caused by an underlying metabolic condition. Although some research argues that there is no genetic link to the condition, others argue that several genes have indeed been identified to cause the condition including mutations in the ARX, CDKL5, SLC25A22, STXBP1, SPTAN1, KCNQ2, ARHGEF9, PCDH19, PNKP, SCN2A, PLCB1 and SCN8A genes.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Ohtahara Syndrome
When a child is diagnosed with Ohtahara Syndrome it is very common for one of the child’s parents to leave the working world in order to attend to the needs of the child or for the family to incur added expenses related to in-home care. The SSA has recognized the financial strain that this condition can put on a family and, as such, has included it as one of the conditions that may qualify an applicant for SSDI and/or SSI benefits. Furthermore, the SSA has also recognized the severity of the condition and has included it in its listing of Compassionate Allowances conditions. This means that you could possibly receive an approval of your child’s Social Security Disability benefits in a matter of weeks rather than having to wait months or years before benefits begin.
It is important to note, however, that even though Ohtahara Syndrome is included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances listings, this does not mean that your child will automatically be approved for disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process. In order to increase your child’s chances of receiving an approval of his or her disability claim, you need to ensure that you fill out the disability application forms properly. You must answer all questions in detail and be as specific as possible. Vague or incomplete answers will likely result in a delay or a denial of your Social Security disability claim.
In addition to properly filling out the disability claim paperwork, you must provide the SSA with enough medical evidence to support your case. This may include lab results, copies of EEG reports, medical records and written statements from treating physicians. All of this documentation will need to be included with your claim for benefits.
Ohtahara Syndrome and Your Social Security Disability Case
If you have a child who has been diagnosed with Ohtahara Syndrome and you wish to obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a disability attorney before filing your disability claim. By working with a disability attorney you can ensure that your disability claim forms are properly filled out and that you have enough objective medical evidence to support your claim for disability benefits.