We here at the Law Office of Sheryl Gandel Mazur understand how important obtaining disability benefits can be for a majority of people. Not only can they help cover medical expenses such as doctors visits and medications, they can also help offset lost wages a disability can sometimes cause. But we also understand how difficult it can be sometimes to get access to these benefits.
Applications don't always get approved on the first try, which typically then leads to an appeal and the need for legal representation in some cases. As we had said before on this blog, sometimes cases are denied because the application does not contain enough information. In other cases, it may be because an applicant's condition is so rare that the Social Security Administration is unaware of how debilitating it can be.
To reduce the likelihood of this happening down the road, SSA has taken steps to increase awareness among assessors of rare diseases. As our New Jersey readers know, SSA has a list of conditions it has already vetted and deemed eligible for disability benefits. Called Compassionate Allowances, this list helps streamline the application process because it gives assessors a quick-reference guide that oftentimes expedites claims.
One such condition that appears on the list is Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome. This rare, inherited condition occurs because of mutations in the SLC16A2 gene. Exclusively found in males, this mutation can result in both physical disabilities, such as poor growth and muscle weakness, as well as cognitive delays, such as intellectual disabilities and speech delays. In a majority of cases, "involuntary movements of the limbs eventually leads to wheel chair dependency by early adulthood," explains SSA.
It's worth pointing out to our readers though that there are more than a hundred conditions listed as Compassionate Allowances with more added each year. If an assessor does not check this list for every application, they could miss a rare condition like Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome and deny a person benefits even though they deserve them. As we said above though, an applicant may appeal a denied decision with the help of an experienced lawyer in order to get the benefits they need and deserve.
Source: The Social Security Administration, "DI 23022.925 Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome," Accessed Feb. 5, 2015