The effects of anterior poliomyelitis can be devastating. Once an individual has contracted the virus that causes the condition, it becomes impossible for them to maintain employment. The resulting lack of income and increased need for medical care can be problematic on a family's finances and can cause serious stress. If you or someone you know is suffering from anterior poliomyelitis and are unable to work due to the symptoms of the condition, you may want to consider an application for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. The following information will help you understand the disability claim process and how the Social Security Administration reviews disability claims based on this particular diagnosis.
Anterior poliomyelitis is caused by an infection of a small RNA enterovirus in the Picornaviridae family. In the past, this condition was most commonly caused by one of the three polio virus strains, it is now more commonly caused by the coxsackieviruses types A and B or the echoviruses.
When an individual contracts a virus that results in anterior poliomyelitis, the condition results in irreversible damage of the motor cells located in the spinal cord, brain stem and cerebrum. In severe cases, the disease may result in death.
The symptoms of anterior poliomyelitis usually present themselves in individuals who are under three years of age. However, the disease has developed in adults on some occasions. Symptoms may vary from individual to individual, but the disease will usually begin with chills and convulsions, which will be followed by a fever reaching 102° or higher. The individual suffering from the illness may experience pain in the back, head, and limbs; as well as vomiting and diarrhea.
Within 24 to 48 hours of developing anterior poliomyelitis, an individual will develop paralysis. The location of paralysis can vary, but the legs are most commonly affected. Eventually, the muscles of the paralyzed area will atrophy and circulation becomes impaired. These effects are permanent. For instance, an individual who has been afflicted by the disease is often unable to maintain full-time work activity as an adult. In these cases, an application for Social Security Disability benefits may be in order.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Anterior Poliomyelitis
The Social Security Administration does recognize anterior poliomyelitis in its Blue Book of Medical Listings under Section 11.11. According to this section of the Blue Book, an individual suffering from the effects of anterior poliomyelitis may qualify for disabilty benefits if the disease has resulted in persistent difficulty speaking, swallowing or breathing; or disorganized motor function as described in Section 11.04B of the Medical Listings (which states “Significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station [see 11.00C]”).
If your condition meets the eligibility criteria outlined by the Social Security Administration's Blue Book, you will likely be approved for disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process. However, you will have to prove that your condition meets these specifications. In order to do this, you will want to include complete copies of your medical records along with your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. Your medical records will be evidence of your eligibility. And furthermore, you may need to obtain written statements from your treating physicians in order to support your disability claim.
If your specific case of anterior poliomyelitis does not meet the exact criteria of the SSA's guidelines or if you do not have enough medical evidence to support your diagnosis, you may still be able to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. In order to do this you will need to provide the SSA with as much medical documentation as possible and be very detailed when filling out your disability claim forms. It will need to be apparent to the adjudicator who is reviewing your claim that you are completely unable to work due to your condition in order to qualify for disability benefits. The services of a qualified SSD attorney or advocate may be valuable during this initial application stage, as these professionals will know what the SSA will be looking for and will be able to point out any potential weak spots in your application.
Anterior Poliomyelitis and Your Social Security Disability Case
Even though anterior poliomyelitis is one of the conditions that qualifies an individual for benefits under the SSA's disability guidelines, that does not mean that a diagnosis of the condition will guarantee you an approval of your Social Security Disability benefits. If there is any question as to whether or not your condition meets the specific published criteria or whether or not you are able to maintain gainful employment, your application for benefits is likely to be denied.
If your initial Social Security Disability application is denied by the Social Security Administration, you will want to consult with a Social Security Disability lawyer as soon as possible. These professionals will be able to represent you in a disability appeal, increasing your chances of overturning the SSA's decision to deny your Social Security Disability benefits.
To learn more about filing for SSD benefits with anterior poliomyelitis or to learn more about working with a Social Security Disability advocate or attorney, simply fill out the form for a free evaluation of your disability case.