Compassionate Allowance - Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)

Children with special needs take more time than most children, and their parents often find it impossible to continue working the kind of hours they had worked before their child was born. Unfortunately, this causes even greater financial strain. Fortunately, children with severe disabilities may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The financial benefits paid can be used to help offset the extra expense of raising children with special needs. They can also be used to help your family maintain some degree of financial solvency while allowing you to spend more time with your child or to hire the specialized help your child needs.

In most cases, parents who are filing for disability on behalf of their dependent children can expect to spend six months or more working through the disability application process. This is because the requirements for Social Security disability aren’t always completely clear, and adjudicators often need more information regarding your child’s disability before they can make a determination on your case. Most people have to appeal the initial decision at least once before being approved for benefits.

For people who have the most severe, obviously debilitating conditions, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers the Compassionate Allowance program. Those who qualify for a Compassionate Allowance can bypass most of the application and appeals process and will generally receive approval for benefits within a month of application.

To qualify for a Compassionate Allowance, you or your child must have one of the 88 listed conditions which the SSA currently recognizes as always qualifying for Social Security disability benefits. More conditions are being considered, and the list of Compassionate Allowances conditions is expected to grow.

The conditions approved as Compassionate Allowance listings include several rare diseases, terminal cancers, progressive neurological disorders, and a number of genetic conditions. Some of these are conditions which affect children and infants, such as Patau Syndrome.

Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13) – Condition and Symptoms

Patau syndrome, also known as Trisomy 13 or Complete Trisomy 13 Syndrome, is an inherited genetic disorder which causes part or all of chromosome 13 to appear as a Trisomy (three times) when it is supposed to appear only twice. This in turn hinders a baby’s development, causing a number of physical and intellectual disabilities.

Typical symptoms associated with Patau syndrome include serious heart defects, spinal cord abnormalities, brain abnormalities, poorly developed eyes (often small), additional toes or fingers, cleft lip, cleft palate, and poorly developed muscle tone. Babies generally fail to thrive (gain weight and grow appropriately), they often have significant feeding problems, and may even stop breathing for elongated periods of time.

All of the symptoms of this disease will be present at birth. Because many of the symptoms are life threatening, it is not unusual for babies with Patau syndrome to die in the first few weeks of their lives, sometimes in the first few days. Fewer than 10% of children with this condition live past their first birthday. When they do, they typically have seizures, stunted growth, and mental retardation.

There is no cure or effective treatment for Patau syndrome. Treatment is on an individual basis, depending on which symptoms are present in any given case.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)

Since Patau syndrome is included in the Compassionate Allowances listings, you can rest assured that your child qualifies for Social Security disability benefits. Not only does he or she qualify, but you should be approved right away and start receiving your benefits within a month to six weeks after your initial application.

It is very important that the diagnosis and reasons for the diagnosis are clear on all medical documentation. Your medical documentation should include the results of all lab studies which were used in making the diagnosis of Patau syndrome, as well as the results of the clinical examination. This will generally include CT scan or MRI results. Of particular interest to the SSA are the all results of genetic testing which shows the Trisomy of chromosome 13.

Your Patau Syndome (Trisomy 13) Social Security Disability Case

Even though the eventual outcome of your Social Security disability claim is not in doubt, most claimants find it worthwhile to have a Social Security disability lawyer review their claim to make sure that all of the paperwork is in order. A claim can be denied at the initial stage if anything is out of order with the paperwork or if key medical documents are missing.

There is no upfront cost in hiring a disability attorney to help you with your case. They are not paid unless your disability claim is successful. If you are awarded benefits, then your attorney will receive either 25% of your back pay or $6,000, whichever is less.