Compassionate Allowance - Zellweger Syndrome

The birth of a child is usually a very joyous occasion. Unfortunately, that joy can be tempered if the child is diagnosed with a devastating medical condition. The stress of knowing that your new little bundle of joy is suffering from an illness that he or she won’t outgrow can become overwhelming. On top of it all, parents still have to contend with the usual daily responsibilities involved with maintaining the household like meals, arranging for childcare for the other children in the home, paying the bills, and so on. In the midst of such difficult circumstances, many parents find it necessary to seek Social Security disability benefits in order to ease some of the financial strain.

It is common for up to seventy percent of initial Social Security disability applications to be denied on the first attempt. While there is an appeal process in place, the process is painfully slow due to the substantial backlog of cases waiting to be addressed. Recognizing the fact that some conditions are so serious that they automatically result in the need for disability income, the Social Security Administration (SSA) enacted the Compassionate Allowance program. This program developed a list of illnesses that automatically qualify for an expedited application process for Social Security disability benefits. As a result, the process of acquiring approval for benefits can be shortened to a matter of weeks instead of months or even years.

One of the conditions that qualify for a compassionate allowance is Zellweger Syndrome. If you are the parent of a child that has been diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome, it is of the utmost importance that you initiate the application process for Social Security disability benefits as soon as you possibly can.

Zellweger Syndrome - Condition and Symptoms

Zellweger Syndrome is one of a group of four diseases known as peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBD). This group is part of a larger category of diseases known as leukodystrophies; these are all inherited conditions that impact the development of myelin, a white fatty substance that serves as an insulator for nerve cells, as well as the body’s ability to metabolize certain substances in the organs and in the blood. Of the PBDs, Zellweger Syndrome is the most serious. Zellweger Syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation which causes the body to be unable to form the cell structures that help to rid the body of certain toxins.

Symptoms of Zellweger Syndrome include elevated iron and/or copper levels, jaundice, inability to move, an enlarged liver, vision disturbances, difficulty swallowing, prenatal growth failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, lack of muscle tone, and seizures.

There is no known treatment for Zellweger Syndrome, other than to treat some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not at all positive, with most affected infants failing to survive until their first birthday, usually the result of respiratory failure, liver failure or gastrointestinal bleeding.

Filing for Social Security Disability for Zellweger Syndrome

A child born with Zellweger Syndrome definitely qualifies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), since this is one of the diseases recognized as a compassionate allowance. What this means is that your application will be processed much more quickly than had previously been possible. As a result, you could receive approval in as little as three weeks so that your benefits can be issued as soon as the next benefit cycle begins.

Even though Zellweger Syndrome has been classified as a compassionate allowance, you would still be very wise to enlist the assistance of a Social Security disability lawyer. An experienced professional, a disability lawyer will be able to guide you through the application process and make sure that you have obtained and provided all of the necessary documents so that you can concentrate on providing care and comfort for your precious little one.

When you file for disability for a child with Zellweger Syndrome, it may be necessary to provide samples for genetic testing to definitively identify the gene mutation that is responsible for causing the disease.

Your Zellweger Syndrome Social Security Disability Case

If you are the parent of a child that has been diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome, you can be confident that your child will undoubtedly qualify to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Still, it would be a very good idea to have your case evaluated by a Social Security disability lawyer. That way, you can be assured that you will receive your compassionate allowance and will begin receiving your benefits as quickly as possible. Remember that even the slightest omission in your paperwork may result in a delay in processing your claim, costing you valuable time and resources. Worse yet, your case could be denied, forcing you to enter the appeal process and needlessly prolonging your wait for benefits.