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Cystic Fibrosis and SSI Disability for children

Cystic fibrosis is a chronic, genetic disorder which causes severe lung damage and potential nutritional issues in children. It affects over 30,000 children or 1 out of every 3,000 live births in the United States. Cystic fibrosis affects the cells in the body which generate mucus, causing the mucus to thicken and clog the pancreas and lungs.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Cystic fibrosis manifestations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]Cystic fibrosis manifestations[/caption]

Children with cystic fibrosis have historically lived only into their early teens; however, better medical treatment has extended the life-expectancy for some people into to their fifties.

Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

Claimants with cystic fibrosis experience a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. General symptoms may include:

  1. Poor weight gain due to a blocked pancreas

  2. Lack of absorption of nutrients

  3. Large appetites

  4. Abnormal bowel movements

  5. Frequent coughing spells

  6. Respiratory infections

  7. Thick mucus build-up in the lungs

  8. Swollen airways

  9. Very salty sweat or salt deposits on the skin

  10. Delayed puberty

  11. Infertility

  12. Diabetes

  13. Liver disease

  14. Gallbladder disease

  15. Pancreatitis

Winning SSI for Cystic Fibrosis

The Social Security Administration awards Supplemental Security Income or SSI to children who have a severe, disabling condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. Applicants must also have VERY limited income and resources to qualify for SSI benefits.

If a child qualifies for SSI they will be given a monthly cash benefit and Medicaid benefits (in most states) to help them pay for their additional costs of treating their condition. If the family, who is caring for the child, has too many resources or their income is too high they will be denied SSI benefits regardless of the severity of their child’s condition.

Proving your child’s disability is Marked and Severe

The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of all conditions they consider disabling in the SSA Listing of Impairments – Part B for children. Cystic fibrosis is listed on the SSA Listing of Impairments under 103.00 Respiratory System. This listing includes Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Lung transplant or chronic pulmonary insufficiency.

As mentioned above, the SSA has determined that these conditions and the symptoms outlined in the SSA listing of Impairments are so severe that they will last 12 continuous months and will cause “marked and severe” disability in your child, allowing for an automatic approved of SSI benefits.

Do I need to hire a disability lawyer?

If your child has cystic fibrosis you should not have to hire a disability lawyer. Your SSI application, assuming it meets the nomedical requirements outlined above, should be approved immediately.

What if your SSI application has been denied by the SSA? If you receive a denial letter it should clearly state why your application has been denied. If the SSA states that your child was denied because your family’s income and resource level was too high there is no need to challenge this denial until your income and resource level has decreased below the allowable limit.
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