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How does SSA analyze SSDI applications based on Down’s Syndrome?

We have previously discussed several types of physical and mental conditions which may result in an Ohio resident being unable to work and how the Social Security Administration may look at applications for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits based upon those conditions. In this installment of the blog we will be going over what the SSA may need to see in order to grant disability benefits based on a fairly common genetic disability called Down’s Syndrome.

It is estimated that somewhere around 400,000 U.S. citizens have Down’s Syndrome, with about 6,000 being born with the condition in the country each year. This comes out to about one in every 691 births. Thus, it may be the most common disabling genetic condition. In about 99 percent of cases, it is caused by a copy of an extra chromosome called chromosome 21 in a cell, either by itself (95 percent of cases) or attached to another chromosome (four percent of cases). Thus, all cells in the affected person’s body either have 47 chromosomes in the former situation, or 46 in the latter, with the extra chromosome 21 being attached to chromosome 14. These types of Down’s Syndrome are referred to as non-mosaic.

For the vast majority of cases of Down’s Syndrome, i.e. non-mosaic, the SSA uses Section 10.00 of the Blue Book, called Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Bodily Systems. Generally, there are three ways to show the SSA that a person qualifies for disability benefits due to non-mosaic Down’s Syndrome. The first is to have a lab test, called a karyotype analysis, done and have it signed by a doctor, or accompanied by a doctor’s statement that the patient has Down’s Syndrome. Second, one could provide a report from a doctor stating that one has the distinctive physical features of the condition which is consistent with a previous karyotype analysis showing non-mosaic Down’s syndrome. Finally, if no karyotype analysis is done, one could use a doctor’s report stating that one has the distinctive physical features of the condition, and other evidence that the person’s level of functionality is that of someone with non-mosaic Down’s Syndrome.

It should be noted that a certain type of lab test that does not distinguish between mosaic and non-mosaic Down’s Syndrome may not be acceptable to meet the listing requirements. Anyone with questions as to how to receive disability benefits due to inability to work based on Down’s Syndrome or another physical disability may benefit from a conversation with an experienced Ohio disability attorney.