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SSD benefits may be available for those with Down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects a significant portion of our population. The condition, which can be classified as mosaic or non-mosaic in nature, can drastically affect an individual's ability to live what many would consider a normal life. Those who suffer from non-mosaic Down syndrome, where there are three copies of chromosome 21, may be physically developmentally delayed and/or suffer from intellectual disability. These individuals oftentimes suffer from congenital heart disease, hearing loss, vision impairment, and other issues that affect certain parts of their bodies.

Those who suffer from non-mosaic Down syndrome can be considered disabled for Social Security purposes, which could provide them with much needed financial relief. In order to prove that their condition meets federal requirements for SSD benefits, a person with Down syndrome must submit medical documentation evidencing their genetic disorder. Typically, this includes laboratory reports and karyotype analysis. It is important that benefits seekers utilize the correct tests, as some will not be recognized by the Social Security Administration.

Those suffering from non-mosaic Down syndrome are considered disabled from birth. This means that the tradition work history requirements do not apply. However, it is critical that the proper documentation from the individual's physician and/or medical specialist. The Social Security Administration has strict rules in place that must be followed exactly. Any deviation from those rules and procedures could lead to a delayed or denied claim, or an award of benefits that is too small.

Therefore, those who need assistance with their claim may want to seek out legal assistance. A skilled attorney will know how to navigate the Social Security disability system in a way that keeps a disabled individual informed of his or her options. This can be true from the initiation of a claim through any appeals that may be necessary.

Source: Social Security Administration, "10.00 Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems," accessed on Sep. 12, 2016

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