Pearson Syndrome and Social Security Disability

This year alone millions of disabled individuals will apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, nearly 70 percent of those who apply will be denied benefits during the initial stage of the application process. This will result in the need for an appeal, which usually involves a hearing before an administrative law judge. Due to the backlog of appeals currently in the system, it can take more than two years for an appeal to be completed. Fortunately, the SSA has recognized the fact that not all disability applicants have two years or more to go through the disability claim and appeal process. In response to this fact, the SSA implemented the Compassionate Allowances program, which allows some applicants with certain disabilities to be approved for benefits in a matter of weeks rather than months or years. Pearson Syndrome is one of the conditions that now qualify an applicant under Compassionate Allowances processing. If your child has been diagnosed with Pearson Syndrome, the following information will help you understand how the condition may qualify your child for expedited claim processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines and how you can ensure a timely approval of your disability claim.

Pearson Syndrome - Condition and Symptoms

Pearson syndrome is a very rare (less than 100 cases) mitochondrial disease that is usually fatal during infancy (due to infection or metabolic crisis), although a few patients do survive into adulthood. The disease was first discovered in 1979 in infants who were experiencing transfusion-dependent sideroblastic anemia along with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and vacuolization of hematopoietic precursors.

The symptoms of Pearson Syndrome can vary from case to case. The most common symptoms include failure to thrive, pancreatic fibrosis, insulin-dependent diabetes, muscle impairment, neurological impairment, exocrine pancreatic deficiency and, in many cases, death. Those who do survive into adulthood will commonly develop Kearns-Sayre syndrome.

While Pearson Syndrome was discovered in 1979, the cause of the condition was not discovered until a decade later. The disease is caused by a deletion in the body’s mitochondrial DNA. The deletions of this mitochondrial DNA result in a cellular oxidative defect in the metabolism. This leads to the symptoms of the condition itself.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Pearson Syndrome

When filing a disability claim based on a diagnosis of Pearson Syndrome you must prove to the Social Security Administration that the condition is so severe that it meets the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances requirements. This can be accomplished by properly filling out the disability claim forms, filling out all of the answers with very clear and detailed answers and providing the SSA with sufficient medical evidence to support your claim and the statements made on your claim forms.

In the case of Pearson Syndrome, you will want to provide medical records that show a complete medical history, lab results and written statements from treating physicians in order to support your claim for disability benefits. All of these records will be considered when processing your Social Security Disability Claim and you should provide as much documentation as possible.

Pearson Syndrome and Your Social Security Disability Case

If your child has been diagnosed with Pearson Syndrome and you wish to obtain Social Security Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, you may want to consider retaining the services of a disability attorney before you submit your claim for SSDI and/or SSI benefits. By working with a disability attorney before you actually file your claim, you can ensure that your disability claim forms are filled out properly, that you have enough objective medical evidence to support your claim for benefits and that your claim is presented in such a way that the SSA understands the severity of your child’s condition and how the claim qualifies for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. All of these factors will help increase your chances of a timely approval of your child’s disability benefits.

If, for some reason, your initial claim is denied by the Social Security Administration, you will need to file an appeal. If this happens, you will want the help of an attorney to guide you through the appeal process. Compassionate Allowances appeals are given priority over standard disability appeals and, therefore, are processed more quickly. This means even if you have to file an appeal, you will not have to wait years for the appeal process to be completed. With the help of an attorney, you can ensure that your appeal is handled according to the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines and is handled in a prompt manner.