If you or a loved one suffers from cerebral palsy, you know how challenging the disease can be. Cerebral palsy can take many forms, and its effects can range from mild limitations on movement, speech, and vision to severe impacts on muscle tone and motor function, as well as mental capacity. If you have a family member who currently suffers from severe cerebral palsy, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if the disease prevents them from engaging in basic tasks like walking that are crucial to employment. The Social Security attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates have helped countless residents of Massachusetts apply for, or assist their family members in applying for, disability benefits for cerebral palsy.Seeking Benefits Based on Cerebral Palsy
Since cerebral palsy is a general term used to describe a wide set of physical and mental limitations, not all individuals diagnosed with the disorder will be eligible for SSDI. Under the Social Security Administration’s impairment listing for cerebral palsy, only those individuals with an IQ of less than 70, or who experience serious difficulties with talking, hearing, walking, standing, or using their hands and fingers are likely to immediately qualify for disability benefits.
If your current symptoms do not match any of these requirements, you still may apply for disability benefits, but you will be required to provide extensive evidence documenting how your cerebral palsy affects your daily routine and prevents you from meeting the requirements for regular employment in any industry throughout the U.S. This can be documented through your own testimony about being unable to perform the functions necessary for a job, testimony from friends and family members, and medical records documenting how your disease has manifested and how it has been nonresponsive to treatment.Appealing the Denial of a Claim
If your initial claim for disability benefits is denied, you should not feel defeated. Although this is a setback in your application process, over 60 percent of initial SSDI claims are denied, and many of these denials are successfully overturned on appeal. If you receive a denial from the SSA, it may be because your disability examiner did not believe that your cerebral palsy was as severe as it is, or that he or she did not fully understand the effects it is having on your daily routine. In these situations, you have multiple opportunities to appeal your denial and present the SSA with additional compelling documentation of your disability, including at both the request for reconsideration and hearings stages. However, in order to help your chances in obtaining eventual benefits, it is important that you seek the advice and experience of a qualified disability benefits attorney who can guide you through an appeal.Contact a Massachusetts Attorney Familiar with the Government Benefits Process
Dealing with cerebral palsy can be difficult and exhausting. You or your loved ones may face the prospect of life-long medical battles, continual therapy, and the need for support in and outside the home. Federal government benefits are available to assist you, but often applicants need the additional knowledge and experience of an attorney to help them qualify. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our government benefits lawyers understand the challenges that Massachusetts applicants face in applying for benefits and how to successfully navigate the benefits appeals process. If you or a loved one is considering filing an application for SSDI based on cerebral palsy, we can assist you. We proudly serve residents throughout the Boston region, including the Merrimack River area and Plymouth, Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex Counties. For more information, contact us at (800) 367-0871 or online.