Compassionate Allowance - Seckel Syndrome

Children affected by Seckel Syndrome (SCKL) automatically meet the medical requirements for receiving disability benefits. This syndrome is also recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as an inherent and often devastating disability. For this reason it is approved for quick disability review under the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program.

Disability Benefit Programs

Kids usually get benefits through the SSA’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, but Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are sometimes available too.

  • SSDI benefits are usually only available to disabled workers. These benefits require a work history. Children can sometimes qualify under the work credits of a disabled or deceased parent though.
  • SSI has no work history/work credit requirements. It does have strict income and financial resource limitations though. Even with these financial rules many kids are able to qualify for benefits.

Although the SSA will review your finances when determining if your son or daughter qualifies for SSI, only part of your income and resources count toward your child’s eligibility. Many children are able to get benefits and applying is the only way to know for sure if your child is eligible.

Compassionate Allowances

SCKL is considered a Compassionate Allowance (CAL) by the SSA. This means applications filed for SCKL are reviewed quickly and are rarely denied for medical reasons. Rather than taking several months, you will have a decision on your child’s disability claim in only a few weeks. The SSA also limits the amount of medical evidence needed to prove the disability under the CAL program.

Required Medical Evidence for Seckel Syndrome

Even under the CAL program, you must still complete the full application and ensure your child’s medical records are available to the SSA. The essential information that must be within your child’s records includes:

  • A thorough medical history and physical examination notes, documenting the presence of physical features and other complications typical of SCKL
  • Genetic testing results showing chromosomal abnormalities consistent with the diagnosis of SCKL

Although these are the only documents the SSA absolutely must have in order to find a child medically eligible for benefits, they may also look at other records to determine the severity level of the child’s symptoms and complications.

Listings in the Blue Book may be consulted during the disability review, including:

  • Section 100.02 – Growth impairment
  • Sections 12.05 or 112.05 – Intellectual disability
  • Section 112.12 – Developmental or emotional disorders in newborns and children one year of age or younger

The Blue Book is the SSA’s manual of impairments. It contains listing for medical conditions and the evidence needed to prove severe disability with each.

Consider asking your child’s doctor to review these listings. He or she can then ensure your child’s medical records contain the evidence the SSA needs to approve a disability claim quickly.

Submitting an Application

When you apply for benefits for a child, you must participate in a personal interview with an SSA representative. Interviews are usually held at the local SSA office and can be arranged by calling 1-800-772-1213.

Collect your child’s medical records and take those with you to the interview. Review the Child Disability Starter Kit before your appointment. It will help you understand the financial and other documentation you will need for the application process.