Caudal Regression Syndrome, also known as sacral agenesis, is a rare congenital disorder that only occurs in about one in every 25,000 live births. While some cases of Caudal Regression Syndrome are mild with no noticeable side effects, other cases of the condition may be very severe and can result in a permanent disability. People who suffer from severe cases of Caudal Regression Syndrome often have a very hard time managing the day-to-day activities of everyday life and full-time employment is nearly impossible. This can result in severe financial consequences and the impact on a family can be devastating. In some cases, Social Security Disability benefits can help alleviate the financial stress caused by Caudal Regression Syndrome. If you are wondering how Caudal Regression Syndrome affects a person's eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits, the following information can help.
Caudal Regression Syndrome - Condition and Symptoms
Caudal Regression Syndrome occurs when the lower end of the spinal cord, also known as the sacrum, does not completely develop during birth. There are four different levels of Caudal Regression Syndrome. The mildest form of Caudal Regression Syndrome occurs when there is a slight or partial deformation of the sacrum. The most severe forms of Caudal Regression Syndrome involve the absence of the sacrum altogether.
Individuals who suffer from mild cases of Caudal Regression Syndrome may not experience any side effects at all. Severe cases of Caudal Regression Syndrome, however, can cause a variety of health issues including nerve impairment, skeletal deformations, heart defects and respiratory complications. Those who suffer from severe caudal regression syndrome often experience limited movement, incontinence, loss of nerve function and severe deformities.
Many of the babies who are born with severe Caudal Regression Syndrome die shortly after birth. Those who do survive will often require surgery to repair the defects. Even though surgery is available to help correct some of the disfigurements caused by Caudal Regression Syndrome, surgery cannot completely correct or cure the condition.
While the exact cause of Caudal Regression Syndrome is not known, some studies indicate that women who have diabetes may be at an increased risk of having a baby with the disorder. The condition can be diagnosed before birth, usually during a prenatal ultrasound. Signs of Caudal Regression Syndrome can usually be spotted in an ultrasound image as early as 22 weeks into the pregnancy.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Caudal Regression Syndrome
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) processes a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, the examiner handling the application refers to a listing of impairments known as the Blue Book. Caudal Regression Syndrome is mentioned in this publication under Sections 10.00 and 110.00, which cover Multiple Body Systems. The condition does not have a specific listing all by itself. Because of this, it may be more complicated for individuals suffering from Caudal Regression Syndrome to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits based on a case of Caudal Regression Syndrome you will want to submit sufficient medical evidence showing how the condition limits your activities. Because there is no specific application guidelines pertaining to caudal regression syndrome cases, applicants will need to focus on how their disability limits their ability to function rather than the specifics of the disability itself. You will want to provide the SSA with documentation proving how the disability prevents you from performing any work activity. Medical reports and statements from treating physicians that document the extent of your disability can help strengthen your disability case.
Caudal Regression Syndrome and Your Social Security Disability Case
If your case of Caudal Regression Syndrome prevents you from being able to work, you should be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. This does not mean, however, that you will be awarded benefits at the initial stage of the application process. Only 30 percent of the initial applications received by the SSA are actually approved without an appeal. The remaining 70 percent of applicants must appeal a denied claim for benefits before being awarded the benefits they are entitled to.
If you apply for Social Security Disability due to a case of Caudal Regression Syndrome and are denied benefits, you should consult with a Social Security Disability attorney regarding your disability claim. You will likely need to appear before an administrative law judge before being awarded benefits. Fortunately, working with a qualified disability attorney can increase your chances of receiving a favorable decision at the hearing stage of the appeal process. A disability attorney can discuss the specifics of your case with you and will be able to help you gather the evidence you need to prove your disability to the administrative law judge during your disability hearing. A consultation with an attorney can increases your chances of being approved at the initial claim stage as well.