The majority of disability claims that are filed with the Social Security Administration are filed by disabled adult workers who are no longer able to perform the responsibilities necessary to maintain full-time employment. In some cases, however, disability claims are filed on behalf of children who are born with severely debilitating conditions. When a child is born with such a condition, it can cause significant financial hardship to the family of the child. In some cases, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help. Children who are born with hydranencephaly are now among those who may qualify for SSD benefits under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program, a portion of the blue book. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, the following information will help you understand the disorder and how it qualifies for expedited disability claim processing.
Hydranencephaly Condition and Symptoms
When a child is born with hydranencephaly, it means that the child lacks cerebral hemispheres in the brain and there are sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid where the hemispheres should be. Some of the children who are born with the condition may appear normal at birth. However, within the weeks and months following the birth of the child symptoms of the condition will begin to develop.
Symptoms of hydranencephaly can vary from case to case depending on the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include distortion of the skull, distorted upper facial features, irritability, increase in muscle tone, seizures, involuntary movements, vision impairment, impaired growth, deafness, paralysis, mental impairment and/or respiratory problems.
Currently there is no cure for hydranencephaly. Instead, treatment is focused on addressing the symptoms of the condition.
While the exact cause of hydranencephaly is still yet to be determined, some specialists believe that the condition may be linked to trauma during birth or the last trimester of fetal development. Intrauterine infections may also contribute to the development of the condition. Toxoplasmosis, enterovirus, parvovirus and herpes simplex are some of the illnesses that are thought to have links to hydranencephaly. Others believe the condition may be genetic in nature, but more research must be done in order to determine whether or not the condition is actually caused by an inherited genetic mutation.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Hydranencephaly
Each and every year the Social Security Administration receives millions of disability claims and, unfortunately, the majority of those claims are denied during the initial stage of the application process. Applicants are denied during this stage must then pursue a disability appeal if they hope to receive benefits in the future. The appeal process is complex and time-consuming, taking some individuals more than two years to complete. Fortunately the conditions that are included in the Compassionate Allowances listings are given priority processing when a file is claimed. Hydranencephaly is one of the conditions that qualify an applicant for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. This means that your child may be approved for benefits in a matter of weeks, so long as your have a Child Disability Report.
It is important to note that just because hydranencephaly is one of the conditions that has been included in the Compassionate Allowances listings, this does not mean that your child will automatically be approved for benefits. You will need to provide the SSA with sufficient proof to support your child’s claim. This means properly filling out the disability claim forms and providing the SSA with objective medical evidence such as imaging studies, lab reports and written statements from treating physicians.
Hydranencephaly and Your Disability Case
If you are applying for disability benefits for a child who has been diagnosed with hydranencephaly, you may want to consider hiring a disability attorney before you file your claim for benefits with the Social Security Administration. The disability claim process can be very confusing and overwhelming. The assistance of an attorney can ensure that your paperwork is filled out properly and that the SSA has the objective medical evidence they need in order to support your child’s disability claim.
In addition to ensuring that you fill out all forms properly and provide sufficient objective medical evidence, a disability lawyer can also ensure that your claim forms are submitted in such a way that the adjudicator reviewing the file understands how the claim qualifies for expedited processing under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines. This will help your child receive benefits more quickly and will also reduce the chance that you will need to endure a disability appeal. If you do need to appeal a denial of your child’s disability claim, a Compassionate Allowances appeal is handled more quickly than a standard disability appeal. A disability lawyer can ensure that your child’s appeal is handled properly.