The Social Security Administration (SSA)’s Compassionate Allowances program is designed to identify claimants who have conditions which by their very nature qualify those who have them for as disabled. While some conditions may or may not qualify you for Social Security disability benefits, depending on the severity and your residual functioning capacity, those who have one of the listed Compassionate Allowance conditions automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
The reason for the program is that the SSA recognizes its responsibility to offer help quickly to those who have the most serious conditions. By having a condition listed as a Compassionate Allowance, the SSA is able to quickly determine that a person is eligible for benefits in a matter of a few weeks, rather than subjecting them to the typical Social Security disability process, which can take several months (and occasionally, several years).
The Compassionate Allowance Listings include a number of cancers, dementias, and even some childhood conditions, all of which require little medical examination or proof of disability beyond the diagnosis of the condition itself. There are a total of 88 conditions that qualify for a compassionate allowance exception.
If your child has been affected with Krabbe Disease, you are considered completely disabled by the SSA and should apply for disability benefits immediately.
Krabbe Disease (KD) – Infantile – Condition and Symptoms
Infantile Krabbe disease is a luekodystrophy, a rare genetic disorder which affects the nervous system. Both the central and peripheral nervous systems are affected. The disease strikes in the uterus, and can be detected before a baby is born by testing the amniotic fluid.
The first symptoms of the disease usually show within the first six months of a baby’s life, and can begin appearing as early as one week into an infant’s life. The disease is invariably fatal, with death typically occurring by the second birthday.
The first noticeable symptoms of Infantile Krabbe Disease include irritability, a fever which comes and goes, and stiffness which gets worse over time. Often, children with Infantile Krabbe Disease have weak reflexes, especially deep tissue reflexes, because of the damage to the nervous system.
The disease progresses rapidly, and the initial symptoms are quickly followed by a deterioration of motor skills and function. The baby may have seizures, chronic jerking, excessive salivation, secrete fluid from the lungs (more than normal), and very high fever (often without infection).In the final stages, the child will lose contact with the world around her and will ultimately die of infection.
There is no cure for Krabbe Disease. At present, medical professionals are only able to treat the symptoms. This typically includes medication to help avoid seizures and vomiting. There has been some indication that a baby who is treated with bone marrow transplants or transfusion of cord blood may have a better prognosis if the child is treated before the symptoms begin to manifest.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Krabbe Disease (KB) – Infantile
It can be hard to find a bright spot in your child’s diagnosis with Infantile Krabbe Disease. While it hardly makes up for such a heartbreaking diagnosis, you can know that your child will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits automatically throught he Compassionate Allowance Listings.
This means, of course, that as long as the paperwork is in order, your disability claim will be shuffled through in a matter of about three weeks and you will start receiving disability benefits to help defray the additional costs of taking care of a child with special needs due to her disability within about a month and a half in most cases.
When filing for Social Security disability due to Krabbe Disease, make sure that your documentation includes the genetic testing or enzyme assessment which shows the presence of the faulty gene. You should also include all MRI and CAT scan findings, which should show abnormalities in the brain matter. Finally, include the doctor’s diagnosis of any symptoms characteristic of Krabbe Disease, especially those which affect the motor function.
Your Krabbe Disease (KD) – Infantile Social Security Disability Case
It can be tempting to assume that you don’t need to bother with legal representation if your child’s condition qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance. While it is true that there is little question that you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, it is nevertheless all the more important to make sure that your file includes all of the needed documentation and that everything is in order.
The best way to ensure that everything is in order is to have a Social Security Disability Lawyer help you with your claim. A disability attorney is not paid unless you are awarded benefits. If you are awarded benefits, then your attorney will receive either 25% of your back pay or $6, 000 whichever is less.