The Social Security Administration (SSA) often takes a long time when reviewing Social Security disability claims. Unfortunately, this can lead to very trying times for those who are suffering from a debilitating condition.
In most cases, the lengthy process is, unfortunately, necessary. The SSA has a very narrow definition of what exactly constitutes complete disability and must ensure that a claim meets all of the criteria before it can be approved. This often involves further medical testing, questioning, and otherwise requiring the claimant to clearly demonstrate that they qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
There are some conditions, however, which are serious enough that they always qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Prior to 2008, even though a particular disease or disorder might always be serious enough that the claimant is approved immediately, the SSA put their claim through the same process as everyone else’s. Thankfully, that has changed.
In 2008, the SSA, in recognizing its responsibility to people with the most severe and clearly debilitating conditions, began the Compassionate Allowance Listing program. The program seeks to identify conditions, called Compassionate Allowances, which by their very nature always qualify sufferers for Social Security disability benefits. Claimants with a qualifying condition are flagged and put into a separate, much faster process than those with more ambiguous conditions.
In essence, the SSA has determined that there is no need to further examine claims if there is a diagnosis which is clearly going to be approved anyway. Because of this, claimants who qualify for a compassionate allowance avoid the lengthy approval process and are approved for Social Security disability benefits within a month of initially filing for Social Security disability benefits, providing that the medical documentation supports the condition which is being claimed.
MPS II (Hunter Syndrome) – Conditions and Symptoms
MPS II, also known as Hunter syndrome, is a genetic disease which is inherited. Those who have the condition lack sufficient amounts of the enzyme iduronate sulfatase, which is responsible for the breakdown of sugar molecules. Hunter syndrome usually starts showing after a child turns two years old.
Common symptoms associated with MPS II include hyperactivity, aggressiveness, decline in mental functioning and capabilities, spastic behavior, and metal retardation, which is generally quite severe. Other symptoms which sometimes accompany MPS II are deafness, carpal tunnel syndrome, excess body hair, distinct coarse facial features, an oversized head, joint stiffness, heart murmur, leaks in the heart valves, liver or spleen enlargement, hernia, and abnormalities in the retinas.
Children with MPS II experience increasing mental impairments and an overall decline in development and motor skills. Most children with this disease die by the age of 15, generally from heart failure or upper airway blockage. There is currently no cure and treatments currently being employed concentrate on helping to improve the symptoms and complications with the various organs affected.
Filing for Social Security Disability with MPS II (Hunter Syndrome)
If your child has been diagnosed with MPS II, he or she qualifies for Social Security disability benefits. You should notify the SSA of your intent to file for Social Security Disability benefits immediately. Not only will you receive benefits sooner if you start the process sooner, but you will establish your filing date. While compassionate allowance claims don’t typically involve much back pay, any back pay to which you are entitled will be based on the date you made the SSA aware of your intent to file for disability benefits.
Because you qualify for a compassionate allowance, your claim will likely be processed within three weeks of filing. If you have not received an approval notice within a month, you or your representative should contact the SSA to make sure everything is on track and that your file was indeed flagged for a compassionate allowance.
Your child’s medical file should include the results of an enzyme assessment for iduronate sulfatase with clear evidence of delayed neuro-development. The medical file should also include examinations of the spleen, liver, eyes, heart, neurological and respiratory systems and the musculo-skeletal system.
Your MPS II (Hunter Syndrome) Social Security Disability Case
When you or your child has a condition which qualifies for a compassionate allowance, there is no question that you will qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Despite this, it is a good idea to have a disability lawyer review your claim to make sure that everything is in order with the paperwork and medical documentation.
There is no up front cost to have your claim evaluated and even if you choose to have a Social Security disability lawyer help you with your claim, fees are only collected if your are awarded benefits. Your attorney will receive either 25% of your back pay or $6,000, whichever is less.