Compassionate Allowance - Alstrom Syndrome

Typically, when you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you can expect to wait several months. More often than not, the initial claim is denied, and you are left facing a lengthy appeals process that involves asking for a redetermination and having a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, among other things. In some cases, you could be waiting several years before your claim is approved and you are able to start collecting Social Security Disability benefits.

Fortunately, the Social Security Administration does recognize that there are some medical conditions that, by definition, qualify you as being disabled. These conditions are often terminal, and qualify for a program called Compassionate Allowance, which puts Social Security Disability claims on a faster track towards acceptance. One condition which qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance is Alstrom Syndrome (ALMS).

Qualifying for a Compassionate Allowance with a condition like Alstrom Syndrome can make the difference between spending three to four weeks waiting to collect Social Security Disability benefits or six to eighteen months (or even longer).

Alstrom Syndrome-Condition and Symptoms

Alstrom Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is caused by the mutation of a gene known as ALMS1. The condition is characterized by obesity, kidney dysfunction, Type 2 diabetes, progressive hearing and vision loss, and heart disease. In particular, Alstrom Syndrome causes a type of heart disease that weakens and enlarges the muscles of the heart.

Alstrom Syndrome affects multiple body functions and can cause severe, often life threatening conditions affecting the lungs, liver, and bladder. Symptoms vary considerably in severity and in onset. In some cases, this develops in babies. Other times, problems go unnoticed until significantly later in life. Often, children with Alstrom Syndrome have delays in reaching developmental milestones (such as crawling, walking, talking, etc.). Other cases result in abnormal intelligence development. Additionally, different people with Alstrom Syndrome experience different combinations of symptoms.

To properly diagnose Alstrom Syndrome, doctors must conduct genetic tests on both of a person’s parents to determine that there are mutations in the ALMS 1 gene. Barring this, doctors can diagnose Alstrom Syndrome using a combination of diagnostic tests; including hearing tests, vision tests, blood testing, urine testing (for liver dysfunction), blood sugar tests (diagnoses thyroid function, triglyceride levels and hyperglycemia) and tests for heart functioning. These tests are then combined with tracking any developmental delays that may have been evidenced.

Generally speaking, those suffering with Alstrom Syndrome are likely to eventually experience blindness, deafness, diabetes and its related complications, kidney problems, liver problems and developmental delays. There is no cure for the genetic disorder itself, though many of the symptoms (such as Diabetes) are treatable much as they would be if they had been caused by something else.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Alstrom Syndrome

If one of your children has a diagnosis of Alstrom Syndrome, you are going to need to deal with the extra care a child with this disorder needs. This, by definition, includes all of the types of problems experienced by parents with children who are deaf, blind, have kidney or liver problems, or have diabetes. Often, this requires foregoing gainful employment and staying home with the child.

Fortunately, Alstrom Syndrome qualifies your child for Social Security Disability benefits. Programs such as SSI can help defray the cost of giving up or reducing the amount of outside employment you are able to handle while caring for your child. In the case of Alstrom Syndrome, you should have no trouble qualifying for a compassionate allowance as long as the diagnosis is clear and the paperwork is in order.

One of the best ways to save yourself a lot of headaches over your Social Security Disability claim is to have a professional Social Security Disability lawyer handle your claim for you. Because they deal with Social Security Disability claims on a daily basis, they are thoroughly familiar with the system and the kinds of things the Social Security Administration is looking for on your Social Security Disability claim.

Your Alstrom Syndrome Social Security Disability Case

It can be tempting to assume that just because your child has a condition which is supposed to automatically qualify you for a Compassionate Allowance that your claim will automatically be ushered through and you will begin receiving Social Security Disability benefits immediately. In an ideal world, that would be true, and the Compassionate Allowance program is designed to make that happen.

However, we don’t live in ideal world, and claims which should be funneled into the Compassionate Allowance program sometimes don’t find their way to where they should be. More often than not, this is due to minor mistakes in the paperwork which could have been avoided with the help of a Social Security Disability attorney.

To learn more about the Compassionate Allowance program or to discover how a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer can help you, submit a request for a free evaluation.