With May being ALS Awareness Month, Denise Jones, a Social Security Administration employee, wrote an editorial for The Daily Nonpareil which said those with the illness may be able to get quicker Social Security disability benefits. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive disease which attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. She said ALS is one of Social Security’s “Compassionate Allowances.”
“The compassionate allowances initiative identifies claims where the nature of the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets the statutory standard for disability,” Jones writes. “With the help of sophisticated new information technology, the agency can quickly identify potential compassionate allowances and then quickly make decisions and begin monthly benefit payments.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, early warning signs of ALS include difficulty lifting the front part of feet and hands, weakness in lower extremities, slurring of speech and muscle cramps or twitching in the arms, shoulders and legs. The disease begins in the hands, feet or limbs and spreads to other parts of the body.
ALS is a devastating disease and can lead to inability to work. Although the SSA generally does a well intentioned job in approving obvious cases of disability, we have found that often it is still necessary to provide sufficient and convincing evidence to obtain approval for benefits in “obvious cases.” Consequently, a claimant is always served by retaining counsel early on in the disability application process.
The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates is available to represent clients from the initial application through federal court appeals.