Compassionate Allowance - Corticobasal Degeneration

Corticobasal degeneration is a rare and debilitating condition that affects only approximately 4.9 to 7.3 per people 100,000. The condition is severe and most of the people who are diagnosed with the disease are unable to perform substantial gainful work activity. It goes without saying that these people are in desperate need of Social Security Disability benefits in order to make ends meet. The question is: how soon can people who are diagnosed with corticobasal degeneration qualify for the benefits they need? The following information will help you understand the disease and how people who are diagnosed with it may qualify for disability more quickly under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Corticobasal Degeneration Condition and Symptoms

Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD) is a neurological disease that is quite rare. In all actuality studies are stating that this may be a syndrome rather than a disease. This particular condition is also known as corticobasal ganglionic degeneration (CBGD) and it is mainly associated with progressive brain and nerve damage.

CBD generally attacks the upper-front section of the brain and the tissue in the cortex. Not only does this disorder cause cell loss, it also creates shrinkage (atrophy) in brain matter and tissue. There are two other diseases that show the same cell changes that CBD does and those are progressive supranuclear palsy and frontotemporal dementia. There are no known direct causes for this disease.

The diagnosis usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 70. The first signs of CBD are slow and clumsy movements and stiffness and aching. One may find that they are shaky and start to have difficulty with comprehension and speech. Any symptoms that are targeting muscle control typically will start on one side (unilateral) of the body and work its way across. One’s balance is often affected, and this makes it extremely difficult to walk. As far as speech functionality, this progressively worsens as time goes on becoming more and more difficult for one to comprehend speech or speak properly.

One may also experience cognitive impairment, which encompasses memory loss. Some of the people who suffer from corticobasal degeneration may even experience visual and spatial impairment as well. This does vary from one individual to the next, as do many of the symptoms and characteristics of many forms of dementia and neurological disorders.

Individuals who suffer from CBD may have strength and properly functioning muscles in the beginning stages of the disease, but may have difficulty executing the desired movements due to the attack of CBD on the brain. This is not uncommon, but as the condition progresses these individuals will experience loss in muscle function due to the lack and ability of their brain to properly tell the rest of the body what to do.

Causes of Corticobasal Degeneration

There are no known specific causes of this particular disease. Scientists and doctors have found a link that connects the tau protein in the nerve cells that are located within the brain. Researchers are currently unaware whether or not this means that the tau gene has mutated somehow. The tau protein does help maintain internal cell structure, but malfunctions when in contact with degenerating nerve cells. Degenerative cells can be found in patients who suffer from Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease as well as CBD or CBGD.

Studies have also found that CBD’s characteristics may occur as a result of neuropathological conditions and rare disorders such as CNS Whipple Disease, which is connected with progressive aphasia or progressive apraxia and occurs in patients who have no signs of loss of motor function impairment in the beginning stages of their lives. Progressive aphasia is another neurological syndrome that impairs one’s ability to speak properly while progressive apraxia is a sign of motor neuron disease that also affects speech but is commonly found in people who have Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Corticobasal Degeneration

Corticobasal degeneration is now covered under the list that is included in the SSA's Compassionate Allowances Guidelines. However, even though this condition is a Comparisons Allowances Listing, that does not mean that you will automatically be awarded Social Security Disability benefits.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits you must furnish the Social Security Administration with enough medical evidence to prove that you meet the guidelines set forth under this listing. This means providing substantial medical evidence including diagnosis records and medical testing results along with your claim for disability benefits.

When filling out your disability claim, make sure you properly answer every question on the disability claim forms. One-word answers will not suffice. The more information you provide, the more likely it will be that you will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits without the need for a disability appeal.

Corticobasal Degeneration and Your Social Security Disability Case

Many people have heard horror stories about how the Social Security Administration rejects the majority of claims that it receives each year. In the case of corticobasal degeneration, however, you are more likely to receive benefits as your condition is covered under the Compassionate Allowances Listings. You do, however, have to prove that you have the disease.

In order to increase your chances of qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits more quickly and having your claim processed under the Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowances Guidelines, you may want to speak with a Social Security attorney. These professionals can ensure that your case is handled properly from start to finish.

To learn more about filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to a case of corticobasal degeneration or to learn more about working with a disability attorney or advocate, click here for a free disability evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.