Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an additional chromosome that affects different body systems, such as vision, hearing and even the heart. It typically involves levels of mental retardation and has specific physical traits like short arms and legs, less muscle tone, a flattened nose bridge, and a round face.
There are two types of Down syndrome: non-mosaic and mosaic. A significant majority of individuals with Down syndrome have non-mosaic Down syndrome, while only a few are diagnosed with mosaic Down syndrome.
Non-mosaic Down syndrome is listed in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) book of impairments, which automatically qualifies applicants for disability benefits if they meet the requirements of the listing. However, because those with mosaic Down syndrome typically have much higher IQs than those with the other forms of the condition, they are less likely to be considered disabled.
Qualifying for Benefits
In order for non-mosaic Down syndrome applicants to be approved for disability benefits, the SSA requires a laboratory report from a karyotype chromosomal analysis.
If a chromosomal analysis is not available, applicants must ask their doctors for a statement saying the applicant has Down syndrome physical features and has completed the chromosomal analysis at some point, revealing Down syndrome. Applicants who provide this information will be eligible for benefits if there is no other evidence contradictory to the Down syndrome conclusion.
Qualifying for Benefits with Mosaic Down Syndrome
Because mosaic Down syndrome is not listed as a disabling condition by the SSA, applicants must prove they are disabled beyond their diagnosis. Despite the fact that they often have similar physical impairments as non-mosaic applicants, the impairments of mosaic Down syndrome can vary between applicants.
In order to qualify for benefits, mosaic Down syndrome applicants must meet the requirements of another listing, such as a sleep disorder, hearing loss, thyroid issues, mental retardation or congenital heart disease.
If these impairments are not severe enough to be deemed disabling, the SSA will conduct a residual functional capacity (RFC) test to find out what type of work the applicant can perform. If the RFC shows that the individual cannot perform any form of work, the applicant can receive disability benefits under a medical-vocational allowance.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome and you need to apply for benefits, contact the law firm of Dayes Law Firm PC. A Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm can walk you through the application process or help you file an appeal if you were denied disability.
Schedule your free consultation by calling 1-800-503-2000 today.