Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is caused by a woman consuming alcohol while she is pregnant. It’s unknown exactly how much alcohol it takes to cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but it has been determined that no amount of alcohol consumption is safe while a woman is pregnant. If you have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, it is because your mother consumed alcohol the during the first trimester of the pregnancy.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affects different people in different physical and mental ways. It is believed to be the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States. Other defects common with victims of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome include physical deformities (often smaller than normal eyes or stunted growth), learning disabilities, epilepsy, dysfunction of various body organs, poor coordination, and hampered fine motor skills. Mental defects include social difficulties, difficulty maintaining attention, hyperactivity, withdrawal, and other behavioral issues. In addition, many are born with an alcohol dependency. Often, those with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome grow up in dysfunctional families, which adds to the difficulty victims experience.
If someone you know is suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, they may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Children with severe symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may be eligible for Social Security Income. If the symptoms are severe enough to make gainful employment impossible, they may also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits as adults.
Because there is not a Social Security Disability listing for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, you must prove that the symptoms prevent the person with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome from performing work. To do this, you will want to make sure that the condition and all restrictions it places on the claimant’s life are thoroughly documented by a medical doctor or psychiatrist. You should also consider enlisting the help of a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer. As many as 70% of initial claims are denied by the SSA, many of them are denied because the information is not stated in a way that answers the questions SSA adjudicators consider when determining Social Security Disability eligibility. A Social Security Disability lawyer will know what the SSA is looking for on your claim.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Your Ability to Perform Physical Work
Depending on what symptoms are manifested, the Social Security Disability claimant may or may not be able to perform physical work. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome often has symptoms that make physical work impossible; including both physical and mental disorders, which can make such work impractical.
While most symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome don’t directly affect the claimant’s ability to perform physical activities such as lifting prescribed amounts of weight, they still can’t be reasonably expected to work if they can’t comprehend instructions, or maintain attention to perform repetitive tasks.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work
Those who suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome generally aren’t able to perform most kinds of available sedentary work. Sedentary work typically requires the worker to be able to sit in one place for extended periods of time, interact with coworkers or the public, or use fine motor skills to assemble small items.
Many who suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are unable to do these kinds of jobs. Of course, the onus is on the claimant to prove that he can’t perform available sedentary work. It is important that forms filled out by your doctor and mental health professionals clearly state any restrictions on sedentary activity which the claimant may have.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you express your restrictions in a way that will clearly demonstrate to those who determine whether you are qualified for Social Security Disability benefits that you are unable to perform any physical or sedentary work which is available. This gives you your best chances of being approved for Social Security Disability benefits.