Being diagnosed with a serious medical condition can be a devastating experience, particularly when the diagnosis is Alport syndrome—a rare, genetic disorder with no treatment or cure, where the management of symptoms is the only option. While the symptoms of Alport syndrome can be mild, and some patients lead relatively normal lives, for others, the symptoms can be debilitating and even totally disabling. Some patients find it difficult or impossible to hold a job and complete everyday activities. If the symptoms of your Alport Syndrome have rendered you totally disabled, you may be eligible to collect benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Working with an experienced disability attorney may help you better understand the SSA’s application process to ensure your best chance of being approved for benefits.
What Is Alport Syndrome?
Alport syndrome is a rare, genetic disorder that injures the kidneys by attacking the glomeruli—the small filtering units inside the kidneys where blood is cleaned. This condition can lead to kidney disease and failure, as well as hearing loss and eye problems. Alport syndrome occurs in approximately 1 out of every 50,000 lives births and tends to affect males more significantly than females.
Also known as hereditary nephritis, Alport syndrome is characterized by eye abnormalities, significant hearing loss, and progressive kidney disease. Patients can experience a wide range of uncomfortable to totally disabling abnormalities and symptoms, including:
- Misshapen eye lenses
- Abnormally colored retina tissue
- Blood in the urine
- High levels of protein in the urine
- Strange-colored urine
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, face, and legs
- Kidney damage
- Chronic kidney failure leading to end-stage renal disease
- Loss of hearing
- Decrease or loss of eyesight
Currently, there is no treatment or cure for Alport syndrome. However, doctors can help patients manage some of the disorder's symptoms such as swelling and coughing. Gene therapy is the most promising potential treatment for Alport syndrome, although it isn’t ready for patients who are currently suffering from the disorder. If successful at helping the body recognize and produce collagen, gene therapy could effectively eliminate the most troublesome symptoms of Alport syndrome.
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits for Alport Syndrome
Alport syndrome is not included in the SSA's “Blue Book” Listing of Impairments, so being diagnosed with this condition isn't enough to qualify a person to receive Social Security (SS) disability benefits. However, patients whose Alport syndrome symptoms are so severe or advanced that it's impossible for them to hold a job for 12 months or longer may still be eligible for monthly payments from the SSA.
When applying for SS disability benefits for Alport syndrome, providing well-documented medical records is key. You can also ask your treating physician to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form on your behalf. This form discusses your diagnosis and prognosis, as well as how the symptoms of the disorder affect your ability to complete work-related tasks.
We Can Help
Applying for SS disability benefits can be a daunting task for those who aren't familiar with the SSA's complex and lengthy application process. Don't waste valuable time or risk a denial learning the process yourself. Working with a knowledgeable legal team that handles disability law and knows what the SSA expects will give you the best possible chance of having your application approved in a timely fashion. Contact the skilled attorneys at Keefe Disability Law to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. For additional information, request our free eBook, The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability.