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The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur
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SSA Compassionate Allowances: Huntington disease

If you're a regular follower of our blog, then you know that we have talked about diseases and conditions on our blog before that qualify as disabilities with the Social Security Administration. By highlighting these diseases and conditions, we hope to illustrate how these conditions can affect a person's life as well as show how a person with such a condition can qualify for disability benefits.

Continuing these efforts today, we'd like to talk about Huntington disease, which is a fatal hereditary disease listed on SSA's list of Compassionate Allowances. Today, we're going to talk about how this condition can affect a person and how this qualifies them for cash assistance from the government.

What is Huntington disease?

As we just said, this disease is hereditary, meaning it is passed on through a person's genes to their offspring. This particular disease causes a person's neurons to deteriorate over time, first causing difficulties with movement, coordination, cognition, speech, personality and behavior, then progressing to difficulty feeding oneself and swallowing.

In most patients, the onset age for this disease is 40. According to SSA, life expectancy after symptoms present is roughly 15 to 20 years because there is no known cure at this time.

Eligibility for benefits

As we mentioned above, as Huntington disease progresses, the more it starts to affect a person's life. Doing everyday tasks may become a challenge, even preventing a person from maintaining employment. The disease lasts for life and is fatal. It's because of these elements that Huntington disease meets the SSA definition of a disability. It is also why it's listed as a Compassionate Allowance as well.

Your right to government benefits

If you have been diagnosed with Huntington disease and it is affecting your ability to live your life, then you may apply for disability benefits through the government. It's important to know though that the application process can be labor intensive and you may need to appeal a denied claim. You do have the right to legal counsel at any time though and are encouraged to act on that right if you have any questions or need help getting your application approved.

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