TURNER SYNDROME & SSD BENEFITS
WHAT IS TURNER SYNDROME?
Turner syndrome (TS), also called Monosomy X, is a genetic condition that impacts females. It occurs when a girl is born with one of their two X chromosomes completely or partly absent. Normally, a child is born with 46 chromosomes in each cell (23 pairs). However, in TS, the child is born with 45 chromosomes. Therefore, the child possess only one full X chromosome and the second sex chromosome is either partly absent or altered in structure.
Turner syndrome can result in a variety of medical issues and physical traits, which vary from person to person. Most girls and women with TS, however, are often shorter than average and have growth issues. Additionally, most women with the condition are infertile due to absent or underdeveloped ovaries.
If you have TS and you cannot work due to your symptoms, then you should file an application for SSDI and SSI benefits. Contact our law firm for help. If you have no work history, then the only benefit you can apply for is SSI. For an explanation of the type of Social Security benefit you can get, keep reading.
THE TWO FORMS OF BENEFITS FOR TURNER SYNDROME
If you have Turner syndrome, then there are two forms of benefits for which you can file an application: Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits. You can file an application online at the Social Security’s website. Below, you can find an explanation as to each type of benefit you can apply for:
SSDI benefits are for those who have worked and can no longer work at any job due to a medical condition. The amount of money you will receive from SSDI benefits every month is based on how much Social Security tax you have paid during your work history. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” to qualify. A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you will need will depend on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits for your age at the time you apply, you will only qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
SSI is a needs based benefit and it is for those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of those in your house, not just your income and assets. If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, for example, then that income will prevent you from getting SSI benefits. You cannot qualify for SSI benefits, no matter how severe your medical condition, if you do not meet the income and asset rules.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TURNER SYNDROME?
The type of Turner syndrome a person has depends on the problem with the X chromosome. Below you will find a short explanation of each type of TS:
- Monosomy X: In this type, there is only one X chromosome in each cell instead of the usual two. About 45% of people with TS have this form. It can result from the mother’s egg or the father’s sperm not having an X chromosome when the egg is formed. This genetic glitch is then present in the baby’s cells after fertilization.
- Mosaic Turner syndrome: This form of TS accounts for almost 30% cases. It is also called 45,X mosaicism. This occurs when some of the baby’s cells end up with a pair of X chromosomes, while others have only one. Mosaic Turner syndrome occurs at random during early pregnancy when cells divide.
- Inherited Turner syndrome: While it is rare, some babies might inherit TS because their parent or parents had it. This type of TS occurs when there is a missing piece of the X chromosome.
THE SYMPTOMS OF TURNER SYNDROME
The main symptom of Turner syndrome is short stature. Almost all women with TS grow more slowly than other children. They also have delayed puberty and a lack of growth spurts. This results in an average adult height of 4 feet, 8 inches. Doctors can try to treat this with growth hormone, which can help the child grow taller and reach full adult height.
Another symptom of Turner syndrome occurs when a young woman does not experience sexual development. Most females with TS don’t experience breast development. They may have small ovaries that only function for a few years or not at all. Therefore, they may not have menstrual periods. Usually, a female with Turner syndrome does not make enough sex hormones. Also, a young woman with TS usually doesn’t go through puberty, unless she gets hormone therapy in her early teens.
THE PHYSICAL TRAITS OF TURNERS SYNDROME
Besides short stature, females with Turner syndrome often have certain physical traits. Below you will find a list of possible physical traits that occur with TS:
- Broad chest.
- Cubitus valgus, where the arms point out slightly at the elbows.
- Dental problems.
- Eye problems, such as a lazy eye or eyelids that droop.
- Scoliosis, when the spine curves.
- Many skin moles.
- Missing knuckle in a particular finger or toe, making the digit shorter.
- Small lower jaw.
- Swelling of the hands and feet.
- Unusually short neck or webbed neck.
TURNER SYNDROME AND HEART PROBLEMS
People with Turner syndrome may have heart and blood vessel problems. Some of these heart problems can be very serious conditions. Half of the women with TS have a problem with the structure of their hearts. Cardiovascular problems can include:
- Bicuspid aortic valve, with two valves instead of three.
- Coarctation of the aorta, when part of the aorta is too narrow.
- Elongation of the aortic arch, a section of the body’s main artery.
- High blood pressure.
Another thing that can happen is that the heart might have certain defects. These defects can affect the way the heart works. For example, there might be a hole between the different parts of the heart, which can also make it hard for blood to go where needs to go.
TURNER SYNDROME AND COARCTATION OF THE AORTA
One common problem in women with Turner syndrome is “coarctation of the aorta.” This means is that a part of aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body, is narrower than it should be. This can make it harder for blood to flow properly through the aorta and reach lower parts of the body.
The narrowing of the aorta can happen in different places, but it often occurs near the area where the blood vessels that supply the arms and head branch off from the aorta. Because of this narrowing, the heart has to work harder to pump blood and the blood pressure can become higher in the upper body while being lower in the lower body.
Coarctation of the aorta is usually found with testing, such as an echocardiogram, X-ray, or MRI. These tests allow doctors to see the narrowing and its effects on blood flow. Treatment usually requires surgery to repair the narrow part of the aorta and improve blood flow. The surgery might involve removing the narrow part and reconnecting the healthy parts of the aorta, or using a patch to widen the aorta. It is possible for doctors to perform surgery after birth if the child has this condition.
TESTS FOR TURNER SYNDROME
Doctors can diagnose Turner syndrome at any stage of a child’s development. However, sometimes the condition is seen before birth:
- Maternal serum screening is a blood draw from the mother. It checks for signs showing whether there is a chance of a genetic problem with the baby. This test is more common in women who are pregnant at an older age.
- Amniocentesis can check the amniotic fluid or tissue from the placenta. Doctors can perform an analysis on the fluid or tissue. The results could show that the baby has TS.
- Ultrasound during pregnancy may show that the baby has TS. The doctor may see heart problems or fluid around the neck.
Other times, because of their symptoms, children receive a diagnosis soon after birth or during early childhood. However, some women don’t know they have TS until they are adults. These women may go through puberty and get their periods. But they often have early ovarian failure.
IS TURNER SYNDROME ON SSA’S LISTING OF IMPAIRMENTS?
The SSA has a list of medical conditions that qualify for SSDI and SSI benefits. This list is called the Listing of Impairments or the Blue Book.
The SSA reviews your medical records and compares your symptoms to those on the list. If you have all of the symptoms and elements on the listing, then you “meet” the listing. Meeting the listing is difficult to do. But, if your medical condition meets the listing, then you will be paid benefits.
Turner syndrome is not on the SSA’s list of conditions. This means that if you have TS, you cannot meet a listing, because there isn’t one for your medical condition. However, all hope is not lost.
Because, it is also possible to “equal” the listing and win benefits. In order for the SSA to find that you have a medical condition that is equal to a listing, your medical symptoms must be equal in severity and duration to a medical condition on SSA’s list. To understand this idea, think of not having all of the symptoms you need to meet a listing, but perhaps you have two severe medical conditions. Those two conditions, taken together, can “equal” the listing.
HOW TO EQUAL THE LISTING FOR TURNER SYNDROME
In order to equal the listing for Turner syndrome, you will need to have a severe medical condition that prevents you from working, such as heart disease. Many women with TS are born with a heart condition.
For example, if a female with Turner Syndrome has a significant heart defect such as coarctation of the aorta, then the SSA could look at her condition under heart conditions. One example of a heart condition that might equal the listing is “Congenital Heart Disease.” This listing includes various congenital heart defects. Your attorney might be able to prove your TS equals the heart listing, due to the combination of your TS symptoms and your heart condition.
Another possible argument that you attorney could use to show your TS equals SSA’s rules is using the listing for intellectual disability. Some women with TS have learning problems. For example, you may have problems following complex or even simple instructions. You could have problems with attention and your ability to focus on tasks. Some people might struggle with skills such as math and understanding concepts. You might even have memory problems or anxiety. If your attorney can document these mental symptoms, then you can argue that you equal the listing for an IQ condition or anxiety.
WHAT EVIDENCE PROVES YOUR RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY (RFC) FOR TURNER SYNDROME?
In order to figure out your physical RFC, the SSA will examine your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records. Also, the SSA will review any statements from your doctors and from their own doctors. For example, if you have Turner syndrome, then you may have heart problems. If so, then get a statement from your doctor about your heart issues. Perhaps they are causing you to feel tired or sleep during the day. You may not have enough stamina to make it through a work week. Make sure the SSA has a copy of that medical record. Learn more here about what you need from your doctor to be paid SSD benefits.
You also have the option to have a RFC form filled out by your treating doctor. Your treating doctor can document the impact that TS is having on your ability to work. Many women with TS have severe fatigue. Make sure your doctor talks about your daily fatigue on the RFC form.
The SSA will also consider descriptions about your limits from you, your family and friends. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about your TS symptoms. Find out more here about RFC and your age work together to show you cannot work. Also, find out more about SSA’s Medical Vocational Guidelines.
OTHER EVIDENCE THAT PROVES YOUR RFC
When the SSA decides your RFC, they also use your statements on the forms you fill out for them. For example, when you fill out your daily activity form, you will talk about the things you can do on a daily basis. The SSA will ask you about your hobbies. If you no longer do your hobbies, then say you don’t have any. If you write that you fish, golf, and bowl, then the SSA is going to believe that Turner syndrome isn’t what is keeping you from working.
Also, you will fill out forms about your past work. On those forms you state how much you had to lift at work. You also tell them how much you stood or sat during a work day at your past jobs. If you have TS, you may not have a work history. Instead, you could write about problems you had during school. Maybe you had anxiety or problems getting along with other students. Or, perhaps you have trouble learning and understanding school topics.
Your answers on these forms are often some of the most important statements you make. If you state on your Work History form that you lifted nothing on the job, then that is what the SSA assumes is correct. Frankly, there are no jobs where you lift “nothing.” But for some reason, many people write that down as an answer. Even desk jobs require some lifting. You might, for example, lift files, boxes of paper, books, or supplies.
Failing to tell the SSA about the problems you had on your past jobs or at school, makes it easier for them to state that you can work. In other words, you are making it easier for them to deny your case.
OUR EXPERT ATTORNEYS & LEGAL STAFF
If you need help winning your SSDI and SSI benefits for Turner syndrome, then you have found the right law firm. You can learn more about the attorneys at our law firm on our About Us page.
For example, you may want to know that Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win Social Security cases for over thirty years. Additionally, Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.
In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Our experts can help you file for SSI benefits using the SSA’s website. However, we will need your help to apply for SSI benefits. Why? Because only you know your personal financial information. SSI benefits require you to have minimal assets and monthly income.
Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too. There are also many forms that will need to be filled out. Don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms. Call us today for help winning your SSD benefits.
WHAT OUR LAW FIRM DOES FOR YOU
You do not have to obtain SSD benefits for Turner syndrome on your own. We can help file your SSD application. Also, we can help you through each of the appeal stages during the Social Security process.
When you leave that up to us, you can focus on your health. Our attorneys and staff can:
- Help you file your application for SSD and SSI benefits
- File an appeal if you receive an initial denial from DDS
- Collect your medical records
- Help you confirm your SSA Doctor Exam
- Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge
- Prepare you to testify at your ALJ hearing
- Represent you at your hearing
- Question the expert witnesses at your hearing
- Read more about job experts
- Learn more about medical expert testimony
- Request review of an decision with the Appeals Council
- Request review of an Appeals Council denial in Federal Court
If you file your SSD application online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. It is best to complete the application quickly. You don’t want to run out the 6 month time frame.
HIRE US TO WIN YOUR BENEFITS FOR TURNER SYNDROME
At our law firm, we want to help you win benefits if you have Turner syndrome and you cannot work. Remember, there are two types of benefits: SSDI benefits and SSI benefits. When you file an application, you are filing for both types of Social Security benefits.
Here are some tips. When you file your online application for benefits, the SSA may send you a written summary of your online application. If you receive the written summary in the mail, then you need to sign it and send it back to the SSA. The SSA gives you an envelope to send it back. Do it quickly.
Additionally, once you receive a denial from the SSA, you only have 60 days to file an appeal. You should appeal every negative decision the SSA makes. However, you must not fail to meet the time limits set by the SSA. Our advice is simple. Appeal early. Appeal often. Never give up.
As Social Security experts, our attorneys will properly present your case to the SSA. Contact us today. Take advantage of our free review of your case. We can often give you information that will help you win benefits. If you call, then we can answer your questions. Remember, we are experts in SSI and SSD benefits. We will do our best to win your benefits for Turner syndrome. Call today. Put our legal experience to work for you.