Often, those who have children with disabilities face an uphill battle trying to gain Social Security Disability benefits based on their children’s disabilities. This can be especially trying for those who are unable to continue working (or unable to continue working on the level they once did) because of the need to give adequate care for a disabled child.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) in recent years has begun to address the problem for many whose children have severely disabilities. While most still face a long application and appeals process before disability benefits are awarded, those whose children’s condition qualifies for a compassionate allowance face a much shorter, easier road to Social Security disability benefits.
As of 2011, there are 88 conditions which qualify for a compassionate allowance, including many conditions which are typically childhood diseases and syndromes. Most of these diseases are expected to end in a premature death or to be so severely debilitating that a child will continue to need constant care throughout their lifetime. One such disease is Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18).
If your child has Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) or another of the 88 Compassionate Allowance listed disabilities, you automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits as his or her caregiver. Additionally, you face a much shorter application process.
Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) – Conditions and Symptoms
Edwards syndrome is a disorder which is passed on genetically and causes a child to have a third copy of chromosome 18. Under normal conditions, children two copies of chromosome 18. This third copy causes a number of disabilities, including severe intellectual development and congenital problems.
Virtually every organ of the body is affected by Edwards syndrome. About half of the babies born with it survive less than a week. Those who do survive have lived into their teenage years, though they invariably endure significant developmental and medical issues. There is no cure for Edwards syndrome at this time, and treatment is limited to treating the various medical conditions which result from the resultant organ defects.
In addition to mental retardation, typical symptoms of Edwards syndrome include problems with the urinary and digestive tracts, genital abnormalities, physical malformation, heart disease, and delayed development.
Generally speaking, doctors may suspect Edwards syndrome based on such things as a small head size, unusually clenched fists, hand and foot birth defects, webbed neck, undeveloped finger nails, breastbone abnormalities, and small or wide set eyes. These suspicions can be confirmed loosely by an ultrasound of the heart and abdomen and x-rays of the skeleton, and are definitively confirmed by genetic testing which reveals the Trisomy of chromosome 18.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18)
The main thing you need to concern yourself with when filing for Social Security disability when you or your loved one has any condition which qualifies for a compassionate allowance is making sure that all of the documentation needed to support the diagnosis is in your file, and is complete and correct.
The best way to make sure there are no errors is to have a Social Security disability lawyer handle the case for you. When everything is in order in the Social Security disability application, the fact that your child has been diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome should trigger the compassionate allowance program. Generally speaking, you don’t need to do anything extra to qualify for a compassionate allowance. The system is designed to detect claims which qualify and to automatically place them into the compassionate allowance system.
If you have not received an approval within a month, you or your Social Security disability lawyer should contact the SSA to find out what is holding up the process, as these are normally open and shut cases. Most cases involving Edwards syndrome that are not approved within the first three weeks involve problems with the paperwork or supporting documentation. Since Social Security disability attorneys are well aware of what paperwork is needed, this is seldom a problem for those with adequate representation.
Your Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) Social Security Disability Case
When you apply for Social Security disability benefits for your child as a result of Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18), you really aren’t dealing with a question of whether or not you will receive Social Security disability benefits so much as you are dealing with a question of when. If everything is in order and includes the necessary proof of diagnosis, you will be approved within a month in most cases. If there are problems, your Social Security Disability case could take much longer.