Year after year, the Social Security Administration receives more applications for Social Security Disability benefits than they can possibly work through in a timely fashion. Because of this, it is common for disability claimants to wait at least three months before an adjudicator actually looks at their file. In most cases, this is followed by several more weeks’ worth of questioning and medical reviews. Even after all of that, only 30% of initial claims are approved.
There are a number of reasons why claims may be denied. Many of them are as simple as paperwork errors or missing medical documentation, while some require a considerably longer process to sort out. It’s not uncommon for disabled people to spend a year or longer in the appeals process before beginning to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
If your child is disabled, the last thing you need is an elongated claims and appeals process keeping you from getting the benefits you may desperately need. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration agrees with you on this one. While many claimants will continue to have to go through the typical long process, those who have particularly severe conditions are often able to begin receiving benefits much more quickly.
This is because of the Compassionate Allowances program, which began in 2008. Compassionate Allowances are granted for people who have been diagnosed with certain conditions that always meet the SSA’s stringent guidelines for complete disability. The conditions listed include terminal cancers, neurological disorders, rare diseases, and a number of genetic disorders that affect infants and children.
If you or your child has a condition included amongst the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance Listings, you automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Because of this, you will not be subjected to further medical questioning or testing, provided your claim is in order. The ability to pass people through the system without need of further review allows the SSA to process Compassionate Allowance claims much quicker than other claims. Most claimants who qualify for a Compassionate Allowance are approved within three weeks of filing.
Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) – Late Infantile – Condition and Symptoms
Metachromatic Leukodystrophy is an inherited disease that causes a deficiency of sulfatase A. This in turn causes sulfated lipids to accumulate and cause a condition known as metachomasia. This changes the color of the tissues and impedes the development and growth of the fatty covering that insulates the nerve fibers. The most common form of MLD is the late infantile form, which begins when the child is between one and three years old. Typically, children with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy will develop normally until they are about two years old. They will then develop instability when walking, become irritable and begin to lose motor skills. This is usually first noticed when the child is no longer able to do things that they had been able to do (i.e., walking, crawling, speaking). The child will also start to lose muscle, leading to weakness and spasmodic movement. Children with MLD usually have seizures, and often become paralyzed, comatosem, and may experience dementia.
There is no cure for MLD, nor is there any treatment known to reverse its symptoms. Current treatments focus primarily in dealing with the symptoms and include medications for seizures, constipation, feeding, and behavior complications. There is some hope that bone marrow transplants may help slow the onset of MLD, though this treatment is still in the early stages of development. As it stands, most that are diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy die within five years of the onset of the disorder.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy – Late Infantile
If your child has Late Infantile Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, the question of whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits has already been settled. Your child qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance. As long as the medical file adequately supports the diagnosis, your claim should be approved in about three weeks and you should start receiving Social Security Disability benefits in the following benefit cycle (usually a week or two later).
Even though you have nothing to worry about as pertains to being approved, it is generally still a good idea to have a Social Security Disability lawyer review your case. Making sure all of the claim and medical paperwork is in order can make the difference between receiving benefits in a month or having to wait several months.
Your Metachromatic Leukodystrophy – Late Infantile Social Security Disability Case
It doesn’t cost anything to have a Social Security Disability attorney evaluate your claim. If you opt to have a Social Security Disability attorney handle your claim for you (and you should), their fees are taken from the back pay in your initial benefit payments and don’t affect your ongoing benefit payments.
To have a Social Security Disability attorney go over the details of your claim with you, fill out the request for a complementary evaluation on this website.