Coping with disabilities can be difficult. When it’s your child with a serious disability, it can be even harder. Often, taking care of children with disabilities requires a hefty time commitment and precludes one or both parents from continuing to work at the level they had previously. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits are available to help defray some of the added living expenses if your child has a qualifying disability.
In the past, those who applied for Social Security disability benefits could count on a long, arduous process of applying for disability and appealing the Social Security Administration (SSA) rendering multiple times before (hopefully) eventually being approved for benefits. This is still the case for many applicants, unfortunately.
However, for those with particularly debilitating conditions, the SSA has begun to recognize that this process is inefficient and needs to be sped up. While not every condition qualifies, there are a number (diseases currently 88) of conditions which the SSA recognizes as automatically qualifying you for Social Security disability benefits. These conditions are usually rare, particularly deadly cancers or debilitating neurological diseases. Most of the conditions under which children qualify are either neurological disorders or diseases which are expected to be fatal (and often both).
Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor) – Condition and Symptoms
Ependymoblastoma is a form of brain tumor which attacks children. It is highly malignant and generally strikes infants or young children. It is the second most common form of malignant tumor found in children, behind leukemia.
The early symptoms of Ependymoblastoma include abnormal speech, double vision, balance loss, general weakness, and weakness affecting only one side of the face. Coordination problems, headaches, and difficulty focusing are also potential signs of Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor).
Often, children with Ependymoblastoma will be sick in the morning, but will progressively feel better as the day goes on. When Ependymoblastoma is suspected, a doctor will typically order a CT scan and an MRI. If the diagnosis is positive for child brain tumors, the tests will reveal calcification on the brain and often on the spine. If a tumor is found, it is then tested to confirm that it is Ependymoblastoma.
The morbidity rate for Ependymoblastoma is very high, with 5 year survival rates ranging from 0% through 30%, depending on the extent and location of the tumors. Treatment is handled based on the age of the child, with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy common treatments for children over three years old and surgery and high dose chemotherapy and stem cell or bone marrow transplants common for younger children.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Ependymoblastoma
If your child has been diagnosed with Ependymoblastoma, you qualify for Social Security disability benefits automatically because his or her condition is one of the listings for a Compassionate Allowance. As long as all of the necessary paperwork and documentation is filed correctly, the SSA will automatically flag your application and you should start receiving whatever Social Security disability benefits you are entitled to right away (this will typically include SSI and often Medicare).
The most important thing when filing for disability with Ependymoblastoma other conditions which qualify for a compassionate allowance is to make sure that everything in your application is filled out completely and that the accompanying medical documentation is thorough. At a minimum, the medical documentation should include the pathology reports of all tumors and the results of the CT scan, MRI, and any other neuroradiological studies which were conducted. The SSA also likes to see the CSF’s cytology if it’s available.
Most people are better off having a Social Security disability lawyer review their application before sending it in. Small mistakes can make the difference between receiving Social Security disability benefits within a month of the application or waiting up to 18 months (and in rare cases, even longer). While you are entitled to represent yourself at all stages of the Social Security claims and appeals process, you will save yourself many headaches and potentially a lot of time if you have a Social Security disability lawyer handle your case from the beginning.
Your Ependymoblastoma Social Security Disability Case
When your Social Security disability case is built on a qualifying Compassionate Allowance listing, you really don’t have much to worry about in terms of your benefits being approved. However, if your child has a condition such as Ependymoblastoma, you need to start receiving the benefits now rather than later so you can focus on being there for your child.