While many of the applicants who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are disabled workers who are no longer able to maintain employment, some applications are filed on behalf of children who have developed serious disabling conditions. The standard application process for benefits (which takes anywhere from three months to more than two years) does not provide an acceptable level of accommodation for some of these applicants. The SSA has recognized this fact and created the Compassionate Allowances guidelines to allow these applicants to receive benefits in a matter of weeks rather than months or years. Children who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma are among those who may qualify for disability benefits under the SSA’s expanded list of Compassionate Allowances conditions. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition and you are wondering how it affects his or her eligibility for benefits from the Social Security Administration, the following information will be able to help.
Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Condition and Symptoms
“Lymphoma” is a term used to describe a group of cancers that occur in the body’s lymph system. Cancers that occur in the lymph system are referred to as lymphomas. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are divided into three different categories including large cell or diffuse histiocytic non-Hodgkin lymphoma, small non-cleaved cell lymphoma and lymphoblastic lymphoma.
In large cell or diffuse histiocytic non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the B and T-cells of the body are affected and the cancer will usually involve the lymphatic system as well as another area of the body such as the jaw, brain, bones and/or skin.
In small non-cleaved cell lymphoma the cells are undifferentiated. This type of lymphoma accounts for approximately 50 percent of child non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases and usually involves a tumor of the abdomen, bone marrow and central nervous system involvement.
Lymphoblastic non-Hodgkin lymphoma involves the T-cells of the body and is usually associated with a tumor in the chest and swollen lymph nodes. The central nervous system and bone marrow may or may not be affected.
When a child develops non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the lymphocytes of the body fail to mature and begin to grow out of control. This uncontrolled growth results in accumulation of the lymphocytes in the lymph nodes, lymph tissues, spleen and/or thymus gland.
Symptoms of the condition will vary depending on how far the disease has progressed and how old the child is. Most common symptoms included swollen lymph glands, stomach pain, shortness of breath and/or swelling of the face.
Causes of Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
The exact cause of child non-Hodgkin lymphoma remains unknown. The disease itself is a result of the uncontrolled growth of the cancer cells, but what causes this uncontrolled growth remains to be a mystery. Some experts believe that exposure to certain viral infections and/or genetics may play a role in the development of the condition, but this has yet to be proven.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
When you submit a Social Security Disability claim based on a case of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in your child you must provide clear and detailed answers and be sure to answer each and every part of the disability claim forms in their entirety. It is your job to provide as much detail as possible in regards to the questions you are asked. This will help the adjudicator who reviews the file understand the severity of your child’s condition and how the claim qualifies under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
In addition to properly filling out the claim forms, you must also be sure to provide the SSA with sufficient medical evidence to document your claim. Such medical evidence should include lab results, treatment histories and written statements from treating physicians. Without sufficient medical evidence your claim is likely to be denied even though it falls within the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Your Social Security Disability Case
If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits for a child who has been diagnosed with child non-Hodgkin lymphoma you should consider retaining the services of a Social Security Disability lawyer. Your lawyer can ensure that your application paperwork is filled out properly and that you have provided enough medical evidence along with your claim for disability benefits. This will ensure that your disability claim is submitted in the best light possible and that the claim will be processed according to the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
If, for any reason, your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied by the SSA, your disability lawyer will work with you to ensure that your appeal is processed according to the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. The SSA gives priority to the appeals that fall under the Compassionate Allowances listings.