The world of Social Security Disability claims can be complex and confusing. Some of the individuals who qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration do not realize how they qualify or how they can go about getting the benefits they may be entitled to. Parents of children who are facing severe disabilities often face significant financial hardship and do not realize that disability benefits from the Social Security Administration can alleviate some of that financial stress. Some conditions are so severe that they may qualify a child for benefits in a matter of weeks rather than the wait of months or years that most disability applicants face. Children who have been diagnosed with child neuroblastoma are amongst those who may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. If your child has been diagnosed with child neuroblastoma the following information will help you understand how your child may qualify more quickly for these benefits under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Child Neuroblastoma Condition and Symptoms
Neuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer that usually develops in children who are under five years of age. It is the second-most-common form of solid tumors that develop during childhood. Estimates show that neuroblastoma makes up approximately 8 percent of cancer that develops in children.
This particular form of cancer affects the nerve cells that are involved in the development of the body’s nervous system. These cells are called neural crest cells. While this form of cancer can develop anywhere in the body, it most often develops in the adrenal glands of the abdomen, which are responsible for releasing the hormones that maintain the body’s blood pressure.
The symptoms of neuroblastoma can vary depending on the stage of the illness and where the cancer began. The beginning symptoms usually include loss of appetite, fatigue and skeletal pain. Other symptoms may include a swollen abdomen, constipation, difficulty with urination, high blood pressure, difficulty breathing and swallowing, a lump in the neck, neuroblastoma deposits in the skin, weakness in the legs, reduced leg movement and, in rare cases, jerky muscle movements.
Causes of Child Neuroblastoma
As with many forms of cancer, the cause of child neuroblastoma is unknown. Treatment of the condition will depend on how old the child is and the size of the tumor. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. Prognosis varies depending on the age of the child and the stage of the cancer that the child was diagnosed with.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Child Neuroblastoma
This year alone millions of disabled individuals will apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Many of these applicants (as many as 70 percent) will be denied during the initial stage of the application process. This results in the need for a disability appeal. Because there are so many appeals backlogged in the Social Security system, the appeal process can take most applicants more than two years to complete. Fortunately the SSA has recognized the fact that children who suffer from neuroblastoma warrant faster processing of their disability claims. As such, the condition has been included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines. This means that a child suffering from this condition can be approved for benefits in a matter of weeks rather than having to wait months or even years before benefits can begin.
Although child neuroblastoma is included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines, that does not mean that you should not take care when filling out the Social Security Disability application paperwork. All of the questions on the forms must be filled out in detail and you must provide the SSA with sufficient medical evidence to support your disability claim. If you fail to do so your child’s claim may be denied and you will have to pursue a disability appeal. Although Compassionate Allowances appeals are given higher priority and are more timely than a standard disability appeal, it is still in your best interests to avoid the appeal process altogether.
Child Neuroblastoma and Your Social Security Disability Case
If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits for a child who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma you should consider requesting the help of a Social Security Disability attorney. These attorneys work on a contingency basis, collecting 25 percent of any back pay your child may receive from the Social Security Administration (up to a maximum of $6,000). This means you do not have to pay for these legal services up front.
When you work with a disability attorney, your attorney will ensure that your application paperwork is filled out properly and that you have enough medical evidence to support your Social Security Disability claim. He or she will also ensure that the SSA understands how the claim qualifies for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.