Adults with Down syndrome may be able to work and earn a living, and many do. However, when complications or symptoms of their condition worsen, it can make it difficult to get and keep a Pittsburgh job. If this happened to you or a loved one, you may be able to file a claim for Social Security disability for Down syndrome. These benefits include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The Pittsburgh disability team from Berger and Green offers free case reviews and can help you file your claim for disability. We can also navigate the appeals process on your behalf if the Social Security Administration denies your initial application. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
Meeting the Criteria for Social Security Disability Programs
There are two different Social Security Disability programs available for people who have Down syndrome. Both programs require you to prove you have a qualifying impairment, but each has its own technical qualifications.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is only available if the person works or has worked in the past and paid into Social Security. If you have Down syndrome and worked before your health condition worsened and prevented you from working, you may qualify for SSDI.
You may also be able to get this type of benefits if one of your parents receives SSDI. These are “auxiliary benefits” and are available if you can show you qualified for disability before age 22.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI does not have any work credit requirement. Instead, this disability program is entirely need-based. There are income and asset limits you must meet to get these benefits.
Proving You Qualify for Disability Based on Blue Book Listings
The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book includes a list of potentially qualifying impairments. Each section of the book contains a list of criteria you need to meet to get benefits. Down syndrome falls under Section 10.06 – Non-mosaic Down syndrome.
According to this section, you can receive disability as long as you have medical evidence to show you have non-mosaic Down syndrome. If your diagnosis includes
mosaic Down syndrome, you may be able to meet other impairment listings related to your symptoms. This could include:
- Intellectual disabilities
- Heart disorders
- Sleep apnea
- Respiratory disorders
- Hearing loss
When we help you prepare your claim for benefits, we will double-check you have the correct contact information for each of your doctors. The Office of Disability Determination Services uses this information to request your medical records and obtain the evidence they need to decide your case.
Getting Disability Without Meeting an Impairment Listing
You may be able to get disability benefits even if you do not meet the criteria in an impairment listing. This is possible because a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment will consider all your medical impairments, as well as your work history and skills.
When an examiner from the Office of Disability Determination Services looks at your RFC, they want to learn:
- The types of work you can do.
- How often you can work.
- How long you can work.
There are three ways they assess your RFC:
- They have a doctor from their own agency look at your case.
- They ask your doctor to assess your abilities.
- They ask you to see another doctor for a consultative exam they pay for.
If the assessment finds you cannot work any job you might get, you will likely be approved for Social Security disability for Down syndrome. You may also get approval if you can work but need accommodations to earn a living.
We Can File an Appeal in Your Disability Case
The Social Security Administration denies about two-thirds of all initial claims for disability benefits. If this happened to you, we can request an appeal hearing on your behalf if there is sufficient time to do so. We only have a limited time after you receive your letter of denial, so it pays to act quickly.
Once we take on your disability appeal, you can count on us to:
- Answer any questions and address any concerns you have.
- Investigate why the Social Security Administration denied your claim.
- Collect evidence and build a strong case for reversing the denial.
- Represent you before the Administrative Law Judge.
- Present a strong case during your hearing.
- Argue in the hearing for your monthly benefits and full back pay.
It is important to know it will take more than a year before the date of your hearing arrives. During this time, we will remain in close contact with you and be available to discuss your case and progress at any time. If we can get the denial overturned during your hearing, you may be eligible to recover back pay dating back to your initial application.
Recovering Compensation for a Personal Injury Accident
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Pittsburgh personal injury accident, we may be able to help you pursue compensation for your damages. Our founding partner, Laurence B. Green, has fought for the victims of Pennsylvania personal injuries for more than 40 years.
Getting Social Security Disability for Down Syndrome in Pittsburgh, PA
If the symptoms and complications of Down syndrome prevent you or a loved one from working, you may be eligible to file a claim and get approved for Social Security Disability benefits. The team from Berger and Green is here to help you prepare and file your claim or fight a denial of your benefits in Pittsburgh.
Call or text us today at 412-661-1400 for your free case review with a member of our team.