How Huntingtons Disease Can Impact Your Ability To Work
Huntingtons disease can severely impact your ability to perform the duties of your job reliably and consistently, if not completely prohibit you from working. In the early stages of the disease, you may be able to continue working, albeit in a somewhat limited capacity. For example, taking a medication to control involuntary movements may help you to function more normally at work, but it could also worsen your depression. In this case, you would likely also have to take some form of antidepressant to combat the side effects of the first medication however, common side effects of depression medication include nausea, drowsiness, and low blood pressure, all of which could impact your ability to remain productive or complete an 8-hour workday. Additionally, the stress of coping with your disease could prevent you from concentrating on your job.
As the disease progresses and your motor and mental functions deteriorate more rapidly, it is unlikely that you will be able to continue working. As your symptoms worsen, you may require more intensive treatment plans, more frequent doctors appointments, and even constant aid and care.
There Is No Treatment To Stop Slow Or Reverse The Progress Of Huntingtons Disease
Treatment includes medications and various therapies to alleviate physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms.
- Physical therapy can help maintain mobility and reduce the risk of falling
- Psychotherapy can help manage behavior problems
- Speech therapy can improve the ability to speak and use communication devices
- Occupational therapy can improve functional abilities and teach a person how to use assistive devices such as handrails and eating and drinking utensils.
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Adult Onset Huntington Disease
Huntington disease is a degenerative neurological disorder. Its symptoms tend to become worse with time, eventually rendering the one suffering from the disease incapable of taking care of him/herself. The major symptoms associated with the condition include:
- Deteriorating motor skills
- Degeneration of speech
- Muscle spasms
Huntingtons disease is genetic. Symptoms may show up early in childhood, but in most cases, the first noticeable signs are in a persons 30s or 40s. As of the time of this writing, there is no cure or treatment for Huntington disease. Treatments currently in use are designed solely for the purpose of managing the symptoms of the disease.
Getting Help For Your Adult Onset Huntington Disease Disability Claim
Because of the degenerative nature of Huntingtons disease, you should strongly consider having someone represent you when you apply for Social Security disability benefits. Having a Social Security lawyer to help file your claim ensures that the claim will be filed correctly and contain all of the pertinent information which the SSA requires in order to place your claim in the compassionate allowances program so that you can begin receiving your benefits sooner rather than later.
How Riemer Hess Can Help
Dealing with a Huntingtons disease diagnosis and long term disability can be overwhelming. While it may seem obvious you are unable to work, your insurance company will still require you to jump through various hoops before they approve your claim.
Whether you are preparing to leave work, filing a claim, need help appealing a wrongful denial by your insurance company, or would like professionals to monitor your ongoing benefits, the experienced long term disability ERISA attorneys at Riemer Hess can help. We have decades of experience in fighting on behalf of clients like you to win long term disability claims, appeals, and litigations.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above or if you have already been denied disability benefits but have Huntington’s, our New York long term disability lawyers can assist you. or click the button below for a consultation on your disability case.
Can I Get Life Insurance If I Have Huntingtons Disease
Yes, but most life insurance companies limit your options to guaranteed acceptance life insurance.
Guaranteed acceptance policies arent based on your medical history and require no underwriting. They often offer lower coverage caps around $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the company and have higher premium payments than youd see for a medically underwritten policy.
An independent life insurance broker that works with a network of insurance companies may be able to help you narrow down an insurer offering the best coverage youre eligible for.
What Is Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s is a genetic disease that stops the brain from functioning properly, and causes personality changes, forgetfulness, difficulty controlling movements, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and other symptoms. The disease is genetic it’s caused by a mistake in the DNA and is passed from parents to children. Huntington’s is progressive and there isn’t a cure, but treatments can help manage symptoms.Because of these symptoms, many people with Huntington’s lose their jobs and find themselves unable to earn a living.
How Is It Passed On
Huntingtons disease is an autosomal dominant disorder. This means a person can have it if they inherit only one copy of the faulty gene, from either their mother or their father.
A person with the gene has one good copy of the gene and one faulty copy. Any offspring will inherit either the good copy or the faulty one. The child who inherits the good copy will not develop Huntingtons disease. The child who inherits a faulty copy will.
Each child has a 50% chance of inheriting the faulty gene. If they inherit the faulty gene, each of their children will have a 50% chance of inheriting it. It can affect several generations.
A person who does not inherit the faulty gene will not develop the disease and cannot pass it on to their children. A child who inherits the faulty gene will develop Huntingtons if they reach the age when symptoms are due to emerge. Around 10% of people with the faulty gene develop symptoms before the age of 20, and around 10% develop them after the age of 60 years.
If symptoms start before the age of 20 years, this is juvenile Huntingtons disease.
The symptoms are different, and can include leg stiffness, tremors, and regression in learning.
Huntingtons disease is currently incurable. Treatment cannot reverse its progression or slow it down.
However, medication and other therapies can help manage some symptoms.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Huntingtons Disease
The disease normally affects a carrier of the gene between the ages of 28 to 50. The disease is called a progressive brain disorder disease, which means that the nerve cells in your brain break down over time. The most common symptoms of Huntingtons disease are the uncontrolled movements of the upper extremities, head and face. Other symptoms which progressively worsen are:
- Uncontrolled and increased body movement
- Uncontrolled and increased head movement
- Uncontrolled and increased arm and extremity movement
- Progressive issues with cognitive abilities i.e. thinking, recalling information and understanding
- Proper judgment
- Major frustration with losing mental abilities and with uncontrolled movements
- Major fatigue can be caused by constant uncontrolled body movement and the lack of sleep
- Major depression
Research Into New Treatments
Research is underway to find new treatments for Huntington’s disease.
Progress has been made in identifying possible ways of slowing down or halting the condition by “switching off” the faulty gene that causes it.
Several treatments are now going through clinical trials. If they’re found to be safe and effective, they might be available in several years’ time.
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Help With Nursing Home Fees
If you need residential care, your local authority may help you with the cost of this. As this is means-tested, they will carry out a financial assessment to see if you are entitled to this kind of help, and if so, how much. This assessment will take into account your income and assets, such as any property you own. This includes the value or your home, unless your partner or other dependent lives there. The Care Act 2014 is changing how people are able to pay for their own care, introducing the right for you to ask for the local authority to pay for the cost of your care while you try to sell your home. This is known as a “deferred payment scheme”.
If your care is fully funded by your local council, they may also select your nursing home. You are free to make your own arrangements, but you might need to bear some or all of the cost yourself. It is worth asking the local authority for a financial assessment in any case, because they might pay some or all of your care costs.
Introduction: The Triad Of Signs And Symptoms In Hd
The clinical syndrome of Huntingtons disease is notable for a triad of motor, cognitive and emotional features. Although all HD patients eventually become occupationally disabled, the factors that render HD patients unable to maintain employment have not been extensively studied. One difficulty in this line of research lies in the fact that different occupations require different cognitive and motor capabilities. Thus, for example, the factors that render an accountant, a jeweler, or a roofer disabled are likely to be dissimilar. A second difficulty is that many patients are able to maintain employment with accommodations, including marked reductions in work duties. A third issue is that self-employed individuals may slowly curtail their activities so that it is difficult to determine when disability begins. This article will summarize some of the issues for consideration, in the context of the HD clinical triad, including some of the experiences at the HD Center at Johns Hopkins, which has been in existence for over thirty years.
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Expedited Decisions For Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease can cause such serious disability that the Social Security Administration will expedite the handling of an application for benefits based on HD under the “compassionate allowance program.” An initial decision made under this program can take one to two months rather than four or five.
To qualify, the applicant’s condition must meet either the listing for neurodegenerative diseases or the listing for neurocognitive diseases. Information that will help Social Security make an expedited decision include medical records that document the progression of motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms, a family history of HD, and abnormal neurological exam findings. Psychological or psychiatric reports including neurocognitive testing are needed to prove cognitive and mental limitations. Laboratory testing showing a CAG repeat expansion in the HD gene (40 or more CAG repeats and brain imaging can also be helpful.
|Take our disability quiz to help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.|
Talk To A Disability Lawyer
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What Other Types Of Insurance Are Available
Beyond guaranteed issue, look for peace of mind offered by:
- Group life insurance. Life insurance offered through an employer, also called group life insurance, generally doesnt require medical underwriting. But because its tied to your job, you likely wont be able to keep your policy after you leave your employer.
- Mortgage protection insurance. If youre making payments on a home, mortgage protection insurance can pay off the remainder of your mortgage after death so that your family can continue to live in the home without worrying about payments.
- Accidental death and dismemberment insurance. While it doesnt cover illness related to Huntingtons disease, accidental death and dismemberment insurance pays out a lump sum if you die or are seriously injured in an accident.
The Lawyers At Bemis Roach & Reed Have Over Two Decades Of Experience Representing Texans With Huntingtons Disease And Other Disabling Medical And Mental Conditions
Our attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the benefits you are entitled to. If you want to apply for SSD benefits, call us today. If you have previously applied for benefits but were denied, we can help you appeal that decision. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you are not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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I Want To Apply What Should I Do Next
Atticus exists to help to people navigating this process so the easiest thing to do is get free advice tailored to your situation via our online tools or caring staff.
Applying for disability takes preparation. You can win, but this system doesnt make it easy. So its worth taking some time to understand how things work.
The first step is to make a choice: Do you want to Apply on your own, or Get a professional to handle the process for you? Most successful applicants hire a professional. But not everyone needs to, and not everyone who wants to can. Well explain both paths and help you decide.
Can Huntingtons Disease Qualify For Ssdi Benefits
If you, or someone you love isafflicted with Huntingtons Disease, it is likely that this condition hassignificantly impacted your day-to-day life in a myriad of ways. HuntingtonsDisease is a neurodegenerative disorder which affects approximately 30,000 peoplein the United States. If you are one of these individuals, then you areprobably all too aware that this condition, which causes the gradualdeterioration of nerve cells in the brain causes significant cognitive andphysical challenges. Sadly, there is no known cure at this time.
If you find yourself struggling withHuntingtons Disease, you may feel overwhelmed. You may feel uncomfortable, andanxious about how to handle the symptoms of this condition, or even angry aboutthe way it has changed your life or robbed you of the opportunity to enjoythings you once loved. All of these feelings are normal and understandable. Onething that you should never feel though, is alone.
As you struggle with this disease andits side effects, what you need most is to focus on your health and on spendingtime with those you love, enjoying life as much as you can. That means nothaving to worry about how youll pay your bills and provide for your needsamidst all of your other concerns. Thats where we come in.
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Medical Documentation Adult Onset Huntington Disease
Now that adult onset Huntingtons disease has been approved for listing for Compassionate Allowances, the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits with the condition has become significantly easier. If you have been diagnosed, you no longer have to wonder whether you qualify for disability benefits, nor do you need to worry about going through a drawn out approval process.
You will need to include the information pertinent to your adult onset Huntingtons disease with your claim. This will include your doctors diagnosis as well as the basis of that diagnosis. In most cases, this will mean including records of any neurological tests, genetic testing, and brain imaging which were used in making the diagnosis.
Other Medical documentation you will need includes:
- Neurocognitive testing results
- Psychological and/or psychiatric testing results
- Brain imaging if available
- Doctors records showing degenerating conditions consistent with Huntingtons disease
- Lab tests showing more than 40 repeats of CAG in the HD gene
Huntingtons Disease May Qualify For Ssdi And Ssi
Rose worried about her mothers medical condition and her finances. Because of Huntingtons disease, Mom was unable to work to support herself. Bills were piling up. Rosa and her Mom needed help, and it may come in the form of government disability benefits like SSDI and SSI. Social Security Disability Insurance is paid to disabled workers. Supplemental Security Income is paid to people based on financial need. The key to both benefits is the existence of a disability. So, will Huntingtons Disease qualify for SSDI and SSI?
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Genetics Of Huntingtons Disease
Gene coding is made of a sequence of nucleic acids, which are molecules on our DNA that code for the proteins that our bodies need for normal function. The specific coding deficit in Huntingtons disease is an increase of the number of repetitions of three nucleic acids, cytosine, adenine, and guanine, in the region of the first exon of the HD gene. This is described as a CAG repeat.
Normally, we should have about 20 CAG repeats in this particular location. If you have less than 26 repeats, you are not expected to develop Huntingtons disease. If you have between 27 and 35 CAG repeats, you are unlikely to develop the condition, but you are at risk of passing on the disease to your offspring. If you have between 36 and 40 repeats, you may develop the condition yourself. People who have over 40 CAG repeats are expected to develop the disease.
Another observation with this genetic defect is that the number of repeats often increases with each generation, a phenomenon known as anticipation. So, for example, if you have a parent who has 27 CAG repeats in the region responsible for Huntingtons disease, you could have a sibling with 31 repeats, and your sibling may have a child who has more repeats. The importance of anticipation in the genetics of Huntingtons disease is that a person who has more CAG repeats is expected to develop symptoms of the disease earlier than a person who has fewer repeats.