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Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a congenital condition which occurs at birth. According to Medline Plus it is “frequently caused by a defect in the gene that produces type 1 collagen, an important building block of bone.” Other types of the disease can lead to issues of hearing loss and bone fractures.

Claimants have asked if this condition is severe enough to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SS) and this is difficult to answer because the symptoms for this condition can vary so widely by applicant. In fact, even applicants with the same disorder or in the same family may have great variations in their symptoms, and the SSA, when determining disability, will analyze the symptoms, not the diagnosis to make their SSI disability determination.

Common Symptoms of Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI)

As mentioned above, Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) may be so severe that it causes severe and debilitating symptoms for an SSI applicant or it may not. Common symptoms of this condition can include:

  1. Limited stature

  2. Brittle teeth

  3. Weak bones

  4. Deformities in the chest, skull, arms or legs

  5. Weak muscle formation

  6. Hearing loss

  7. Bruising

  8. Constipation

  9. Excessive sweating

  10. Scoliosis or unnatural curving of the spine

Winning SSI for Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI)

The Social Security Administration has created a listing of all the conditions and symptoms they consider automatically disabling. This listing is called the SSA Listing of Impairment. If your child has a condition and corresponding symptoms of a condition on this list, assuming your family meets the income and resource limitations of the SSI program, your child should automatically win SSI benefits.

If your child has severe symptoms such as hearing loss or deformities with their skull or chest than these conditions can also be evaluated under their own specific listings. For instance, hearing loss can be evaluated under 102.00 Special Senses and Speech.

Compassionate Allowance for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Type II

The SSA has also created a separate list of conditions which they consider automatically disabling and if your child has one of these conditions their SSI application can be expedited. This list is called the Compassionate Allowance list. With the new updates that should occur in August of 2012, there will be a total of 165 conditions on this list.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Type II, which is the most severe type of osteogenesis, is on the Compassionate Allowance List. Children born with OI Type II have very short limbs, small chests and softened skulls. These applicants may also have severely underdeveloped lung capacity. If your child has this condition they should have their benefits immediately approved through the Compassionate Allowance Program, assuming your family meets the income and resource limitations of the SSI program. If your family does not meet these limitations they will be denied SSI, regardless of the severity of your child’s condition.

Hiring a Disability lawyer

If your child has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Type II then it should not be necessary to seek legal assistance, they should get SSI the first time they apply. For other less severe Osteogeneis Imperfecta conditions it may be necessary to talk to a disability lawyer to make sure you understand what medical documentation you will need to win your child’s SSI case.