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Social Security Administration and Cachexia Anorexia Syndrome

Can I get disability for Cachexia Anorexia Syndrome?

Cachexia anorexia syndrome, which is also referred to as anorexia-cachexia syndrome, is a complex metabolic syndrome that is associated with palliative conditions, such as cancer. Palliative conditions are those in which treatment is aimed at alleviating a problem or relieving pain without dealing with the underlying cause.

Cachexia refers to weight loss which is unintentional. Cachexia is weight loss that includes both muscle and fat. Cachexia is usually brought about by shifts in metabolism that are the result of tumor by-products and cytokines. Cytokines are chemicals that are produced by your cells that act on other cells to inhibit or stimulate their function.

Anorexia is a lack or loss of appetite. Anorexia is a condition that is brought about by disease in which you become incapable of eating or have no desire or appetite to eat, resulting in severe weight loss.

Although anorexia is the common name that people use for anorexia nervosa, it is not the same thing. Anorexia nervosa is an emotional condition that is evidenced by the refusal to eat for the purpose of losing weight. Anorexia nervosa results from a fear of gaining weight and an inaccurate and unhealthy perception of your body’s appearance.

The word syndrome is a term that is used for a disorder that is marked by a group of associated signs and symptoms. Syndrome refers to a group of signs and symptoms that take place together consistently.

While the definition of cachexia anorexia syndrome varies, and the way in which the syndrome works is poorly understood, there are some signs and symptoms that are usually common with the syndrome. Some of these include:

Cachexia anorexia syndrome can be primary or secondary. Primary cachexia anorexia syndrome is caused directly by a malignancy. Secondary cachexia anorexia syndrome is brought about by cancer-related barriers that reduce dietary intake. These include changes in smell/taste from chemotherapy, mucositis and vomiting/nausea.

How does the Social Security Administration evaluate cachexia anorexia syndrome?

You may have been diagnosed with cachexia anorexia syndrome. You may be wondering if this syndrome will qualify you to get Social Security disability benefits.

Cachexia anorexia syndrome is not in the list of impairments of the Social Security Administration. However, this does not mean that you will not qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for this condition.

If you have cachexia anorexia syndrome, you also probably have some type of malignancy. Many types of malignancy are listed in the Social Security Administration listing of impairments. If your malignancy is listed in the list of impairments, the Social Security Administration will consider you to be disabled (assuming you meet the nonmedical criteria for either the Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance program).

Even if your malignancy is not on the Social Security Administration list of impairments or your cachexia anorexia syndrome is the result of another condition, you may still be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits through a medical vocational allowance. This is a term that is used to grant someone Social Security disability benefits when your disability keeps you from working and engaging in what is called a substantial gainful activity (SGA).

If you have suffered severe weight loss or if you have questions about cachexia anorexia syndrome, contact a disability lawyer for more information.
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