Compassionate Allowances: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Because the Social Security Administration has a huge backlog of Social Security Disability cases at any given time, there can be a significant waiting period between applying for Social Security Disability benefits and actually receiving an approval. Even when the SSA does get to your claim, there is only a one in three chance that any given claim will be approved on the first pass through.

Most people who make Social Security Disability claims end up needing to go through the appeals process. This process takes at least 6 months in most cases, and often takes significantly more than a year. While the chances of success do go up significantly when you are represented by an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, the process offers no guarantees of acceptance.

In 2008, the Social Security Administration created the Compassionate Allowances program. This program is designed to allow those who have conditions that automatically qualify them for SSD benefits to move through the system quicker. Those with these conditions are flagged when they first apply for benefits, and placed into a different category that those cases needing a higher degree of scrutiny.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is one of the 88 medical conditions listed in the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowanced program. If you are diagnosed with ALS (sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s Disease), you qualify for a Compassionate Allowance.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - Condition and Symptoms

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a fatal neurological disease. It attacks the nerve endings that control voluntary movement within the body. While this starts out localized, the effects on various body parts and systems spread, which generally results in death due to lack of ability to breathe when ALS reaches the chest and diaphragm.

At this point, there is no cure for ALS, but new medical treatments for the disease have shown an ability to prolong the life of those who suffer from ALS by several months, which lends some hope that medical science may yet find a way to effectively treat or cure ALS. As it stands, the life expectancy of someone with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is typically three to five years from the onset of the disease.

All that doctors can do is prescribe medications to help patients cope with the symptoms of ALS. These medications are designed to help reduce pain, ease cramps, fight fatigue, and reduce saliva production. Sometimes, sleep aids and laxatives are also prescribed to help ALS sufferers deal with peripheral symptoms.

Typical symptoms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) include a loss of functionality to the muscles affected. This causes loss of strength, deterioration of muscle tissue, and twitching. Essentially, the ability of the brain to control the affected muscles and their ability to move is progressively hindered until the individual with ALS is unable to move or control those muscles. A few Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) sufferers also experience dementia or other cognitive disorders, particularly those dealing with functions such as decision making and memory.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

If you’ve received a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, you qualify for the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances program. While this may be small consolation for being diagnosed with such a deadly disease, you can at least know that your Social Security Disability case isn’t going to be slowed in months of appeals and requests for redetermination.

Of course, as with any Social Security Disability claim, your claim’s acceptance into the Compassionate Allowance program does require that the required paperwork be filled out accurately and completely. Many people find it helpful to have an expert Social Security Disability attorney look over their paperwork to ensure that all of the information the SSA needs to approve their claim is included.

In addition to having the claims forms filled out completely and correctly, you will want to make sure that your medical records include complete documentation of your medical history, including the neurological findings your doctor used to diagnose your ALS. This should include some form of neuroimaging and electrophysiological testing.

If you are at unsure regarding whether you have everything you need for your Social Security Disability claim to be accepted into the Compassionate Allowances program, a Social Security Disability lawyer can help.

Your Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Social Security Disability Case

A diagnosis of ALS generally means you have less than five years to live. The last thing you need is to have any more of that time than necessary tied up in the Social Security Disability claims process. You need your Social Security Disability benefits and you need them now.

Fortunately, you will have no problem receiving Social Security Disability benefits as long as your paperwork is filled out correctly, because you will qualify for the Compassionate Allowance program. To learn more about Compassionate Allowances or how a Social Security Disability lawyer can help ensure that your ALS Social Security Disability claim is accepted, simply request a free evaluation of your claim now.