Holoprosecephaly is a rare disease that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States. There are varying forms of the disease, with alobar holoprosencephaly being the worst of them. Infants who are born with this condition need intensive care and it is not uncommon for a family to experience financial strain due to the needs of a child born with this disease. In such cases, Social Security Disability benefits should be able to help. If your child has been diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly and you are wondering if you can receive financial assistance from the Social Security Administration, the following information will help you understand how the condition qualifies for expedited claims processing under the Compassionate Allowances program and what you need to do to increase your chances of a successful Social Security Disability claim.
Alobar Holoprosencephaly Condition and Symptoms
There are three different sub types of holoprosencephaly including semilobar holoprosencephaly, lobar holoprosencephaly and alobar holopresencephaly, with alobar holopresencephaly being the most severe form of the condition.
Alobar holopresencephaly usually develops in a fetus during the 4th to 6th week of pregnancy. The condition is caused by a rare malformation of the brain that results in a failure of the two hemispheres of the brain to separate completely. This results in a fused cortex that may take on the shape of a cup, a pancake or a ball.
While this form of holoprosencephaly tends to be fatal in the neonatal period, infants that survive will need an extended amount of care. Symptoms include severe facial abnormalities such as a missing nose and merged eyes into a single median structure, also known as cyclopia. The Social Security Administration has recognized the severity of this condition and has included alobar holopresencephaly in its listing of impairments under the agency’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
The exact cause of alobar holoprosecephaly remains to be a mystery. Some believe that toxins play a role in the development of the condition while others believe genetics may be at play. The genes Pax-2 and Pax-6 are thought to have an impact on the development of the disorder.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Alobar Holoprosencephaly
Each and every year millions of people apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The majority of these claims are denied, resulting in a lengthy and complex appeal process that can exceed two years. Fortunately, processing of claims that fall under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines usually takes less time and benefits can be approved in a matter of weeks if the claim is handled properly.
When you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on a diagnosis of alobar holoprosencephaly it is important to understand that even though this condition is one of the few that have been included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines, that does not mean you will automatically be approved for the benefits you are applying for. You must be sure to fill out all of your claim forms properly and submit sufficient medical evidence to the SSA in order to receive a timely approval of benefits. Any missed questions or improperly completed answers may result in a delay of your claim approval or even a denial. While Compassionate Allowances appeals are given priority and are conducted more quickly than general appeals, it is still in your best interest to avoid an appeal in any way possible.
Alobar Holoprosencephaly and Your Social Security Disability Case
If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits for a child who has been diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly, you may want to consider retaining the services of a Social Security Disability lawyer. The professional you work with will be able to help you fill out your claim forms and gather the necessary medical evidence to support your case. He or she can also ensure that all of your forms and documents are submitted in such a way that it is apparent to the SSA that your child does indeed qualify for expedited claim processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
If, for some reason, your initial claim is denied your attorney will ensure that the SSA processes your appeal according to the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. This will result in a faster appeal outcome than if you were to go through the traditional appeal measures.