Social Security Disability Benefits

Dup15q Syndrome and Social Security Disability Benefits

When faced with dup15q syndrome, families strive to provide the best care possible for their loved ones to live comfortably. With medical and other living costs building up, facing financial stress can sometimes be inevitable. Social Security Disability benefits are suitable for individuals with dup15q syndrome, whether an adult or child, and their families to help ease burdens on the wallet. 

The SSDI and SSI Programs

The Social Security Administration (SSA) runs two disability programs known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If you become suddenly disabled after working, you could be eligible for SSDI benefits, as it’s funded by Social Security Disability taxes. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have earned enough work credits through your prior work history, with the exact amount depending on your age. Each year, you can earn up to a maximum of four work credits. On average, you need a minimum of 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the past 10 years. 

SSI, on the other hand, is a needs-based program. It’s intended for families with limited income and resources. You don’t need to have paid into the Social Security system to collect SSI, but you need to meet the income and asset criteria set forth by the SSA. Your household income cannot exceed $720 as an individual or $1,082 as a couple. Your household assets must also not exceed $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple.

Typically children with disabilities will be eligible under the SSI program, with parents or guardians applying under the parental deeming process. The SSA will evaluate the parent or guardian’s income and financial resources to determine eligibility. However, even if your household income is above the threshold described above, your child may qualify since the SSA will only deem a portion of the household income toward them.

To qualify for either program, you must meet the medical eligibility standards by the SSA.

Meeting the Medical Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits

When a child or an adult applies for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA compares the condition of the applicant to a listing of impairments known as the Blue Book. The Blue Book contains a list of all of the conditions that could qualify an individual for benefits, along with the criteria that must be met under each condition.

Dup15q syndrome is, unfortunately, not included in the SSA's Blue Book; however no need to worry. You just need to prove that the condition either qualifies you under a different listing or that it’s so severe that it completely prevents you from performing any sort of gainful work activity. 

For example, some individuals who live with dup15q suffer from seizures. In this case, you would not only want to list dup15q as a reason for the claim, but the resulting seizures as a reason for the claim since seizures are covered by the Blue Book under Sections 11.02 and 11.03. 

Another example is that dup15q can often cause behavioral challenges. This could be listed on the application as qualifying under Section 12.02, which covers organic mental disorders. 

It’s important to evaluate the effects that the condition causes and determine what Blue Book listings you may qualify under to help support your claim.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

Prior to filing your application, it’s important to prepare properly by gathering all of the medical documentation needed to prove your disability to the SSA. If the condition results in effects that are listed in the Blue Book, gather medical records that prove that you meet the criteria of that listing.

When you fill out the disability application forms, be sure to prepare each form completely and with as much detail as possible. The more detail you can provide, the easier it will be for the SSA to understand how your condition qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits. 

During the application process, you may be asked to attend a consultative exam. The purpose of this exam is to assess the severity of your condition. 

You will receive a decision from the SSA regarding the outcome of your application two to four months after the date of your application. If approved, this notice will inform you of which benefits you will be receiving, how much you will receive each month, and when benefits will begin.

What to Do in the Case of a Denial of Benefits

If the notice you receive informs you that you have been denied benefits, you have 60 days from the date of the notice to appeal the denial. If you need to pursue an appeal, you may want to consider retaining legal representation. As experts in the field, a disability attorney can effectively present your case.

If your initial claim for benefits is denied, don’t stress and start over. Many applicants are denied during the initial application process and go on to successfully obtain benefits through the appeal process. Retaining the services of a disability lawyer, which won’t cost you any money out of pocket since these attorneys work on a contingency basis, further increases your chances of obtaining the benefits you or your child may be entitled to.