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Keefe Disability Law
Social Security Disability & Supplemental Security Income
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SSA Disability Program Adds Huntington’s Disease to Compassionate Allowances

It is important to keep up with the changes in the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability program. By doing so, you can greatly increase your chances of being accepted as a beneficiary, even if you have been denied SSA disability benefits in the past. 

One such change occurred in July 2012, when Huntington’s disease was added to the SSA Compassionate Allowances program. This program allows disability decisions to be made much faster, so that Americans suffering from the most serious disabilities can be served within days, not weeks or months. 

What Is Huntington’s Disease?

Adult Onset

Huntington’s is inherited and causes the degeneration of brain nerve cells. People who have this disease usually begin to show symptoms in their mid-30s to mid-40s. Referred to as adult onset Huntington’s disease, this is the most common form. 

The symptoms common to adult patients with Huntington’s disease fall into three categories:

  • Movement disorders: Including involuntary jerkiness or writhing, muscle contraction and/or rigidity, lack of coordination, unnatural eye movements, speech problems, and balance and walking problems.
  • Cognitive disorders: Including problems with planning and completing everyday tasks, inability to control impulses, a tendency to fall and have accidents, difficulty focusing and learning, and lack of awareness of self.
  • Psychiatric disorders: Including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mania, and bipolar disorder.

Juvenile Onset

Sometimes the disease begins to cause symptoms earlier than age 20. When this happens, it is called juvenile Huntington’s disease. This form is somewhat different from the adult version. 

The symptoms can vary, and the disease tends to progress more rapidly. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Loss of both physical and mental skills previously mastered
  • Problems with behavior 
  • Deterioration in fine motor skills 
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Muscle contraction and/or rigidity

Treating Huntington’s Disease

While there is no known way to slow or stop the progression of Huntington’s disease, there are medications that have been effective in treating its symptoms. In addition, various types of therapy can help patients to live a more normal life. These include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Getting Help

If you or a loved one has become disabled because of Huntington’s disease and were previously denied New England Social Security disability benefits, you should definitely try again. The Compassionate Allowances program could be just the thing you need to maintain your financial independence. 

Contact the Social Security disability experts at Keefe Disability Law to get help with this process. This may be the break you have needed; let us advise you on your next steps.


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