The Social Security Administration (SSA) includes Down syndrome in its “Listing of Impairments.” Considered a qualifying condition that affects multiple body systems, there are two forms cited: mosaic and non-mosaic. Of the two, non-mosaic is much easier to qualify for under SSA rules.

When you decide to apply for SSA disability benefits for Down syndrome, there are special definitions and requirements that can become confusing. Getting help from a disability lawyer in Massachusetts can make all the difference in whether you are successful. Here are some common questions and answers that can get you started:

What is the difference between mosaic and non-mosaic Down syndrome?

Down syndrome occurs in approximately one of every 691 live births. Of these people, approximately 98% have the non-mosaic form, leaving only 2% with mosaic Down syndrome. 

The less common mosaic form varies widely in severity of impairment. It ranges from profoundly disabling to so mild that it goes undetected. For this reason, the SSA considers this condition on a case by case basis.

How does someone qualify for SSA disability benefits if he or she has Down syndrome?

In general, the SSA will require documentation of this condition from a medically reputable source. Ideally, this will include a “definitive chromosomal analysis,” which is a laboratory finding of a chromosomal analysis proving that you do have Down syndrome.

If you do not have these definitive lab results, the SSA will require a report from a qualified and reliable medical source that includes a “clinical description of the diagnostic physical features of Down syndrome.” But in the end, a chromosomal analysis is the best evidence for a successful application.

What SSA disability benefits are available to children and adults with Down syndrome?

Children and adults with Down syndrome may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This impairment, unlike many others, constitutes automatic disability eligibility. Families with very low income may be able to receive benefits for their children under age 18. When the child becomes and adult, he or she may reapply for SSI.

Other Social Security benefits available to Down syndrome families and individuals include Social Security Survivor Benefits (SSA) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). In addition, Medicare is also available to anyone who qualifies.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer