Knowing that your child has a serious illness is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences a parent can have. The feeling of helplessness as the child you brought into this world suffers is incredibly stressful. Through it all, a parent has to remain strong for his or her spouse, provide care for the other children in the home, and try to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Further compounding the stressfulness is the fact that the bills just keep rolling in, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the home’s newest little occupant is dreadfully ill. While nothing can take away the heartache that goes along with having a chronically ill child, it may provide some relief to know that Social Security disability benefits can help to reduce some of the associated financial burden.
In years past, the process of applying for and receiving Social Security disability benefits was long, cumbersome and complicated. More often than not, cases were denied on the initial attempt. While there is an appeal mechanism in place, it moves remarkably slowly due to the sheer volume of cases waiting to be heard. The unfortunate side-effect has been that benefits for those who genuinely needed them were delayed, sometimes for years. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has seen fit to institute the Compassionate Allowance program. Through this program, the SSA has identified 88 illnesses (to date) which automatically qualify for disability benefits. As a result, the process of applying for benefits for these illnesses has been significantly streamlined, which in turn means that families can more quickly begin receiving the benefits they need.
If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with one of these illnesses, it is very important that you start the application process soon so that any delays in receiving your benefits can be minimized.
Wolman Disease- Condition and Symptoms
Wolman Disease is a rare genetic disorder caused by the deficiency of an enzyme called lysosomal acid lipase, or LAL. This enzyme is used by the body to break down certain fats inside the cells. Without this enzyme, fats begin to accumulate in the liver and other parts of the body. Wolman Disease is very rare; statistics indicate that it occurs in 1 of approximately 500,000 live births.
Symptoms of Wolman Disease usually appear within the first few weeks of life. They may include loose, fatty stools, feeding problems with frequent, forceful vomiting, swelling of the abdomen, enlargement of the liver, failure to gain weight or possibly weight loss. As the disease continues to get worse, jaundice may develop and calcifications on the adrenal glands may be detectable via X-ray.
Presently, treatment for Wolman Disease is mainly directed at managing symptoms and may include drugs to help with adrenal gland production as well as a feeding tube. Bone marrow transplants have been attempted and have demonstrated some success in helping to reduce symptoms, but there remain serious questions about long-term safety and side-effects.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Wolman Disease
A child who has been diagnosed with Wolman Disease is automatically a candidate for Social Security disability benefits, because Wolman Disease is among the illnesses recognized by the SSA as eligible under compassionate allowance guidelines. If there is any good news at all to be found in such a diagnosis, it is that your wait for disability benefits will be dramatically reduced. As long as you have provided all of the required documentation, your benefits may very well be on their way to you within weeks.
Of course, the process of chasing down all of that paperwork can be pretty stressful. In order to be sure that the process runs smoothly, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a Social Security disability lawyer. Your disability lawyer will take the time to review your application and be sure you have everything you need to get the job done right the first time, rather than getting stuck in the seemingly endless appeal process. If your child is sick, you likely already have more than enough on your plate. Leave the paperwork to an experienced professional so that you can focus on helping your child.
Your Wolman Disease Social Security Disability Case
If a member of your family has been given a diagnosis of Wolman Disease, you can be comforted in the knowledge that he or she is on the inside track to receiving benefits from the SSA. In spite of that assurance, you’ll want to leave the particulars to someone who is very familiar with the process. In doing so, you will significantly reduce the possibility that a seemingly tiny mistake or omission will delay your case and your benefits.