SSA Disability for Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a very rare condition that primarily affects two age groups. When children are diagnosed before age five, they are most likely to have the embryonal form of the condition. Those who are diagnosed between the ages of 14 and 20 usually develop what is referred to as the alveolar form of the condition. Overall, regardless of age diagnosed, the survival rate for rhabdomyosarcoma is 70 percent when the disease is detected early and in a treatable stage. The numbers significantly decline when the condition is not caught early enough. It is safe to say that parents with children who are suffering from rhabdomyosarcoma face significant financial burden. This can be due to one parent having to leave the workplace to care for the child and take the child to treatment or may be due to hiring outside help to care for the child in the home. In either case, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help. This year the Social Security Administration (SSA) has included rhabdomyosarcoma in its listing of Compassionate Allowances conditions. This means individuals who have been diagnosed with the condition may qualify for benefits from the SSA in a matter of weeks instead of having to wait months or years. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, the following information will help you understand how you can receive disability benefits for your child more quickly and with less hassle.

Rhabdomyosarcoma - Condition and Symptoms

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common form of soft tissue tumors that develop in children. These malignant tumors develop in the muscles that are attached to the bones of the body. While rhabdomyosarcoma can develop in various places in the body, it most commonly develops in the head, neck, urogenital track and the limbs.

The symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma can vary from person to person. The most common symptom is the development of a mass that may or may not hurt. Other possible symptoms that may occur depending on the location of the tumor include nose bleeds, congestion, difficulty swallowing, neurological problems, vision problems, bulging of the eyes, swelling around the eyes, hearing loss, trouble urinating or producing a bowel movement, poor urine control and/or painful lumps in the muscles.
When a child develops rhabdomyosarcoma, aggressive treatment is often needed. The treatment itself may cause further symptoms. Whether or not the condition can be cured depends on the specific type of tumor, where the tumor is located and how far the cancer has spread.

While researchers still do not know what causes rhabdomyosarcoma, certain changes in DNA are beginning to help us understand how the DNA changes can lead to conditions like this one. In most cases of rhabdomyosarcoma, certain gene cells are activated when parts of the patient’s DNA is switched from one chromosome to another. This is also referred to as translocation. Translocation can occur when a cell is dividing into two new cells.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Rhabdomyosarcoma

When a child is diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma it is very common for one of the child’s parents to leave the working world in order to attend to the needs of the child or for the family to incur added expenses related to in-home care. The SSA recognizes the financial strain that the condition can put on a family. As a result, rhabdomyosarcoma has been included as one of the conditions that may qualify an applicant for SSDI and/or SSI benefits under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. This means that you could receive an approval of your child’s Social Security Disability benefits in a matter of weeks rather than having to wait months or years before benefits begin.

It is important to note that even though rhabdomyosarcoma has been included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances listings, the inclusion of this listing does not mean that your child will automatically be approved for disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process. In order to increase your child’s chances of receiving an approval of his or her disability claim, you need to ensure that you fill out the disability claim forms properly. You must answer all questions in detail and be as specific as possible. The answers you provide will help the adjudicator who reviews the file understand the severe nature of your child’s disability claim.

In addition to properly filling out the disability claim forms, you must provide the SSA with enough medical evidence to support your case. This may include lab results, medical records, treatment histories and written statements from your child’s treating physicians.

Rhabdomyosarcoma and Your Social Security Disability Case

If you have a child who has been diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma and you wish to obtain disability benefits from the SSA, you may want to consider retaining the help of a disability attorney before you file your disability claim. By working with a disability attorney you can ensure that your disability claim forms are properly filled out and that you have enough objective medical evidence to support your claim for disability benefits.