Astrocyoma –Grade III and IV is one of 88 medical conditions recognized by the Social Security Administration as automatically qualifying those who suffer with it for Social Security Disability. This is done under the Compassionate Allowances program, which was launched in 2008.
One of the reasons for this program is that the Social Security Administration receives so many claims for Social Security Disability benefits every year. Most of these claims must be thoroughly considered and reviewed to determine whether or not the claimant is disabled according to the SSA’s definition of complete disability.
The Social Security Administration only considers a person disabled if they are deemed incapable of continuing to perform any kind of work that they have done previously and are further unable to do any kind of gainful work that may be available and for which they could reasonably be trained. Usually, this includes a lengthy review process and several rounds of appeals before it can be established that a person is disabled enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
However, the SSA does recognize that certain conditions, by definition, qualify those who have suffer from them as being completely disabled. These conditions qualify for a Compassionate Allowance, which allows the claimant to be moved through the Social Security Disability system much quicker. Often, those enrolled in the Compassionate Allowances program begin receiving benefit checks within one month of their initial application, compared with six to eighteen months (on average) for those who do not qualify for Compassionate Allowances.
Astrocytoma - Grade III and IV –Condition and Symptoms
Astrocytoma is a kind of tumor, often cancerous, that originates in the spinal chord or brain. The tumors are formed in the astrocytes, which are small cells shaped like a star. Grades III and IV tumors are considered malignant, with Grade III being moderately so and Grade IV being highly malignant.
The particular part of the brain affected by Astrocytoma is the cerebellum, which can be found at the lower back portion of the brain and controls posture, balance, and movement. Children and adults can be affected by Astrocytoma. Next to leukemia and lymphoma, it is the most common form of cancer in children.
Symptoms associated with Astrocytoma differ based on on the patient’s age and the exact location of the tumors. Individuals with Astrocytoma may experience any combination of the following symptoms: difficulty walking, balance loss, slow speech, headaches (especially in the morning or which go away after vomiting), nausea, vomiting, worsening handwriting, unexplained changes in energy level, sleepiness, personality changes, behavioral changes, and inexplicable weight fluctuations (gaining or losing).
Doctors use CT scans and MRIs to examine the brain and spinal chord when diagnosing Astrocytoma and determining its severity. In some instances, biopsies are also used, though this is generally limited to when brain tumors are suspected.
Treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Which treatment or combination of treatments are used depends largely on the progression and location of the tumor. The most common form of treatment is a combination of surgery and radiation therapy.
Astrocytoma is a fairly aggressive form of cancer, and tends to progress fairly rapidly, becoming malignant eventually. The average length of survival for those diagnosed with Astrocytoma ranges from slightly under a year to almost a year and a half.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Astrocytoma – Grade III and IV
If you or your child have been diagnosed with Grade III or IV Astrocytoma, you qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program. Ideally, this means that you will be able to be approved in a matter of three weeks and start collecting Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income immediately after that.
The SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program is designed to catch and flag all claims that qualify automatically. Unfortunately, this is dependent on paperwork; including claims forms and medical records, being filled out properly and clearly stating everything the SSA needs them to state before they can approve your claim for a Compassionate Allowance.
Your Astrocytoma - Grade III and IV Social Security Disability Claim
The best way to make sure that your claim is handled properly is to have a professional handle it for you. There are many Social Security Disability lawyers who are ready to help you win your Social Security Disability claim, and to start receiving your benefits sooner rather than later.
Because you qualify for a Compassionate Allowance, your Social Security Disability attorney's function is not so much to argue your case (your condition does that for you, in this instance) as it is to make sure that all of the forms contain everything needed to ensure that your case is accepted for a Compassionate Allowance. This includes your claim itself and the accompanying medical documentation.
To learn more about how the Social Security Compassionate Allowance listing apply to your case, or for help regarding how to apply, submit a request for an evaluation of your case by a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer or advocate today.