For parents expecting a new baby, the joy of their impending delivery can be tempered by the discovery that their long-awaited newborn is entering the world with a congenital birth defect. There simply are not words that can adequately describe the anguish parents must endure as they watch while their precious child clings to life. At times like these, the normal stressors of life can be magnified until they seem overwhelming. While facing all the difficult decisions that need to be made regarding the child’s treatment, the family’s finances never take a break. Thankfully, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may provide some desperately needed relief.
Until fairly recently, the process of applying for and receiving Social Security Disability benefits was long and burdensome; in many cases, it still is. The vast majority of cases are denied upon the first application’s submission. For those who are not discouraged enough to abandon the process, the next step is to appeal the decision. It is not uncommon for cases to last over a year before they are resolved. In some cases, the claimants do not even survive long enough to receive their benefits.
Recognizing the need to streamline the application and approval process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has implemented the Compassionate Allowance program. Under this program, a list of conditions which automatically result in the need for disability status was created; this list now totals 100 conditions with the most recent additions. People who have been diagnosed with one of these conditions will be eligible to receive their approval for disability benefits in a greatly expedited manner.
If you or a member of you family has one of these qualifying conditions, it is very important that you begin the application process as soon as possible in order to avoid delays to your case.
Single Ventricle – Condition and Symptoms
The human heart is simultaneously complex and simple. It is fairly simple in its structure, yet remarkably complex in its function. As the heart is being formed in the chest of an unborn child, there is a lot that can go wrong. One of these potential problem areas is the formation of the ventricles, which are the lower two chambers of the heart.
In a normally developed heart, the left ventricle circulates oxygenated blood throughout the body, while the right ventricle circulates blood to the lungs, where it receives more oxygen. When one ventricle or the other is not formed properly and cannot adequately perform its function, the other one must take up the slack.
A child born with a Single Ventricle will typically have a blue/gray skin color, may have difficulty breathing, especially while feeding, and may be unusually drowsy or lethargic. Because the condition is present at birth, the symptoms are apparent immediately upon delivery. Left untreated, the functioning ventricle may eventually fail, leading to death.
Because there are a number of different variations of defects which can result in a single ventricle, with equally varying severity, some Single Ventricle defects are more easily treated surgically. In cases where surgery is not an option, a heart transplant may be the only other alternative to save the baby’s life.
Filing for Social Security Disability with a Single Ventricle
A child born with a Single Ventricle will automatically qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits, because Single Ventricle defects have been determined by the SSA to meet the criteria for a Compassionate Allowance. The result is that your case can be on the fast track through the approval process. As long as all of the required documentation is in order, you may be able to begin receiving benefits in a matter of weeks.
Despite the fact that this frightening condition meets Compassionate Allowance criteria, it would still be very prudent to have your case reviewed by a Social Security Disability attorney. While you may qualify for a shortened approval process, it is still absolutely crucial that all of the application paperwork is filled out completely and correctly. A seemingly insignificant error or omission is all it takes to cause your claim to be denied, resulting in an aggravating and time-consuming delay. A qualified disability lawyer has the needed experience with both the legal and medical portions of the disability application and approval process and knows how to avoid the mistakes that can cause your case to be denied.
Your Single Ventricle Social Security Disability Case
If you are the parent or guardian of a child who was born with a Single Ventricle, you can be comforted by the knowledge that your child will surely qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, don’t let that sense of comfort cause you to take your disability application for granted. Have your case reviewed by an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at your earliest possible convenience.