Compassionate Allowance - Cri-du-Chat Syndrome

There are a number of Social Security Disability programs, most notably Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid, which are designed to help people with disabilities and special needs. Parents with disabled children can also apply for help from the Social Security Administration.

Unfortunately for most, this generally takes several months. Occasionally, a Social Security Disability case takes several years to work through the claims and appeals process.

However, since 2008 the Social Security Administration has been taking steps to recognize certain conditions that automatically qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits. If you or one of your dependent children is diagnosed with one of these conditions, you may be granted a Compassionate Allowance, which allows you to make it through the Social Security Disability system much more quickly. Compassionate allowance cases are resolved, on average, in about three weeks compared to six months or more for other disability claims.

Originally, the SSA recognized 80 conditions (called “listings”) that automatically qualified you or your children for Social Security Disability benefits. Recently, the list was expanded to include eight more diseases, bringing the total Compassionate Allowances Listings to 88. One of the listed conditions is Cri-du-Chat syndrome.

Cri du Chat Syndrome- Condition and Symptoms

Cri-du-Chat is French for “cat’s cry.” The condition is named for the high pitched, kitten-like crying sound made by those who are born with this hereditary condition. The disorder is caused by a missing piece of chromosome 5 (the condition is also called Chromosome 50-Syndrome). In addition to the kitten-like cry, symptoms include mental retardation, delayed development, low birth rate, and often a failure to thrive.

There are also several physical features characteristic of Cri-du-Chat syndrome. These include small head size, wide set eyes, low set ears, small jaw, poor motor skills, and a partial webbing or fusing of fingers and toes. Many children born with Cri-du-Chat syndrome also have heart defects, cleft palates, or scoliosis.

Behavioral problems commonly associated with Cri-du-Chat syndrome include aggression, self-mutilation and other destructive behaviors. While these behavioral symptoms don’t apply to every child with Cri-du-Chat syndrome, they are considerably more common for those with Cri-du-Chat than in the general public.

The kitten like crying sound generally goes away or at least becomes less noticeable as the child grows up. Roughly half of all children with Cri-du-Chat syndrome eventually learn how to communicate verbally, albeit on a limited level.

At this time, there is no cure or treatment for Cri-du-Chat syndrome. Medical intervention is aimed at whichever symptoms result from the disorder. Parents are often advised to receive counseling, as raising a child with Cri-du-Chat presents a unique set of challenges.

Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits with Cri du Chat Syndrome

Children with Cri-du-Chat syndrome require a great deal of special attention as they grow up. These special needs children require constant care, and will require diligent care at a much older age than is typical. Needless to say, raising a child with Cri-du-Chat necessitates some significant changes in lifestyle for most people.

Often, caregivers are unable to maintain work outside the home. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can help bridge the gap that is left when you leave work to care for a child with Cri-du-Chat syndrome. Even if you are able to maintain a job, Social Security Disability benefits can help defray the significant costs of raising a special needs child.

When you apply for Social Security Disability for your child with Cri-du-Chat syndrome, you need to make sure that all of the paperwork is completely filled out and correct. You will also want to make sure that your child’s medical file includes his doctor’s clinical findings, including the diagnostic features noted and all laboratory tests or studies that were conducted to verify the diagnosis. Be aware going in that the Social Security Administration sometimes requires a developmental test periodically to confirm that your child is in fact mentally handicapped.

Your Cri du Chat Social Security Disability Claim

Even though Cri-du-Chat qualifies you for a Social Security Compassionate Allowance, it’s important to make sure that your claim forms are filled out correctly and that you have all of the supporting medical documentation that you need. The best way to do this is to have a professional look over your claim for you. Social Security Disability lawyers don’t typically charge anything to evaluate your claim.

Statistics show that those who are represented by a Social Security Disability lawyer are considerably more likely to have their initial claims approved. Additionally, should you find yourself in need of going through the appeals process, you will already have a lawyer who is familiar with the case. This doesn’t happen often with Compassionate Allowance qualified cases, but having a lawyer who is familiar with your case is still beneficial, just in case.

To discover more about Compassionate Allowances or to have a Social Security attorney review your Cri-du-Chat disability claim, submit a request for a free evaluation of your case now.