Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome and SSA Disability

When the image of a Social Security Disability applicant is conjured to mind, most people imagine hard-working Americans who have become disabled due to some debilitating disease or injury. In some cases, however, the applicants in need of these benefits are children who have been born with severe conditions that can put a serious financial toll on a family. While the typical disability claim takes approximately two years to complete, some of the families with severely disabled children cannot possibly wait years for benefits to begin. The financial hardships of a disability seem to be endless. This is where the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines come into play. Under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines, a disability applicant suffering from a covered condition can qualify for benefits in a matter of weeks instead of having to wait months or years for benefits to begin. Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome is one of the conditions that has been included in the Compassionate Allowances listings. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, the following information can help you understand how you can increase your child’s chances for a quick and hassle-free approval of their Social Security Disability claim.

Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome Condition and Symptoms

Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome is what is referred to as a multiple congenital anomalies syndrome that is a result of a defect in the body’s ability to synthesize cholesterol. The condition is genetic and is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. This means that when two parents each have a recessive mutated gene and each parent passes the gene mutation down to their child, the child ends up with two copies of the mutated gene, which results in the development of the disorder.

The symptoms of the condition can vary from individual to individual. Common symptoms include low plasma cholesterol levels, multiple congenital malformations, dysmorphic facial features, microcephaly, learning disabilities and/or behavioral disorders. Many of the children who are diagnosed with Smith Lemi Opitz Syndrome are also diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

As stated above, Smith Lemi Opitz Syndrome is an inherited genetic condition. When a child is born with this disorder, it means that both of the child’s parents carried a recessive copy of the mutated gene. Since each parent only carried one copy, the parents likely did not show any symptoms of the disorder. However, when the child receives the mutated gene from both parents it results in the child having two copies of the mutated gene and that is when the condition presents itself.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome

This year alone the Social Security Administration will receive millions of disability claims from disabled workers and parents filing on behalf of disabled children. Each year nearly 70 percent of these claims are denied during the initial stage of the application process. These denials are usually the result of improperly completed claim forms or a lack of medical evidence.

When a claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied an applicant must file an appeal in order to receive benefits in the future. The appeal process normally consists of a Request for Reconsideration and a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. While Compassionate Allowances appeals are given priority over standard appeals, it is still a process that you should try to avoid as it will result in a delay in receiving your first disability payment.

When you file for disability benefits for your child make sure to fill out the claim forms in their entirety and include as much medical documentation as possible. Lab results, treatment histories, psychiatric evaluations and written statements from treating physicians and psychiatrists are all crucial to your child’s disability claim.

Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome and Your Disability Case

If you are applying for disability benefits for a child who has been diagnosed with Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome you should consider hiring a disability attorney before you file your claim for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration. Because many applicants are denied due to improperly completed claim forms or a lack of medical evidence, working with a disability attorney can increase your chances of being approved during the initial stage of the application process and will also increase your chances of receiving your child’s first benefits in a matter of weeks rather than waiting months or years.