Learning you have been diagnosed with a rare or serious disorder is a very frightening experience. You’re no doubt confused about what your next steps should be. You may have to quit your job, which could lead to the bills piling up. Fortunately, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can provide some financial relief.
The disability application process can be rather long and tedious. In some cases, you might not have a long time to wait around and you don’t want to spend the time that’s left wrestling with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA has recognized these problems facing you and others who have serious diseases. In response, they have created the Compassionate Allowance listing.
The Compassionate Allowances are a group of rare and serious disorders that automatically qualify an afflicted person to receive Social Security disability benefits. If you have a disease that is considered a Compassionate Allowance, you will be able to apply for benefits using an accelerated process. What normally takes several months will be shortened to a few weeks, and you will be able to collect your benefits much sooner. This is particularly important with disorders in which prognosis may be more grim and help is needed right away.
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy – Condition and Symptoms
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy is a brain disease that can occur in people who have conditions involving comprised immune systems. Examples of such conditions are AIDS, individuals undergoing immunosuppressive treatments, transplant patients, lymphoma and Hodgkin ’s disease. The Polyomavirus, also called the JC virus, which damages the myelin, a protective fatty substance that coats neurons, particularly in the brain and spinal cord. Without myelin, the nerve signals are unable to move from the brain to the rest of the body.
Symptoms of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy tend to be rather diverse, since they depend on which part of the brain is damaged and how severely. Symptoms may evolve over weeks or even months and can include visual, speech and personality changes, clumsiness and continuing weakness. The only treatment available is to immediately try to reverse the immunodeficient state, which can sometimes be accomplished by altering chemotherapy. With Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy associated with AIDS, anti-retroviral therapy is promising for most.
The prognosis for individuals with AIDS that develop Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy is much better than it was in the past. Mortality rates have shrunk from almost 90% to around 50%. For non-AIDS patients that develop the disorder, however, the prognosis is much worse. The disease can drag on for months and 80% pass away within six months of being diagnosed. Those who do survive will suffer severe neurological damage, quickly becoming neurologically disabled.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
If you have been diagnosed with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, you can rest assured that you will be able to collect Social Security disability benefits thanks to the Compassionate Allowances act. This means that when you go through the process, it will not take the usual three to six to eighteen months to complete, but instead will be only about a few weeks. You will be able to start collecting your benefits as soon as the next pay cycle begins, helping to ease the financial strain almost immediately.
Although you can feel confident that you will indeed be able to collect disability benefits if you have a disorder listed as a Compassionate Allowance, it is still a good idea to contact a Social Security disability lawyer. A Social Security disability lawyer can review your case and confirm that all of your paperwork is in the proper order, and that you have the correct medical documentation available. People are usually surprised to find out that cases are often delayed or denied simply because your paperwork is out of order or the right medical certification is not present.
When applying for disability with any disorder, there are specific medical documents that are needed to show proof of your illness. For Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy you will need to display a clinical examination which describes the findings, EEG, CT scan, urine analysis and MRI. If you are HIV positive, you will also need to present your HIV test results.
Your Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Social Security Disability Case
If you are deciding to apply for disability benefits, no matter what condition you have, get in touch with a Social Security disability lawyer. They are well-versed in SSA procedures and standards and will be able to help you through your specific case. Every case is different and it helps to have professional with extensive experience help you with your claim.