Friday, September 5, 2014

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (“LCH”) is a rare disorder that is treated like a cancer, but is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells begin to overproduce and attack the body instead of fighting infection. LCH creates excessive histiocyte cells, which normally help the immune system destroy foreign materials and fight infection. The extra histiocytes can form tumors, or cause pain and swelling and other complications, such as fractures or secondary compression of the spinal cord. 

Like many types of cancer, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) recognizes that LCH is such a serious medical condition that it gets expedited review as a potential Compassionate Allowance. Compassionate Allowances allow the SSA to identify medical conditions that invariably qualify for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits based on minimal objective medical information. 

Once objective diagnostic testing confirms the presence of a condition on the Compassionate Allowance list, the SSA usually approves SSD benefits without any further inquiry. In other words, the SSA approves benefits based upon the presence of the condition. Meeting a listing even requires showing that a serious medical condition has reached a certain severity level. 

I represent a 53 year old restaurant manager with LCH whose SSD application was approved two months after it was filed, and less than a week after I submitted reports from the claimant’s two doctors providing for the LCH diagnosis.

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