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  • Christopher Le

How to get Approved for Social Security Disability Benefits with Ataxia

If you have Ataxia, you may have various medical challenges. You may be able to qualify for social security disability benefits if you have Ataxia. Below are ways you could get approved.

Ataxia May Qualify Through Compassionate Allowances

Compassionate Allowances Program (CAP) is a program that allows certain individuals to be approved for disability automatically if they fit within the criteria for Ataxia. Under CAP, there are about 88 conditions that warrant expedited claims processing. One of the conditions on that list is called: Spinocerebellar Ataxia.

If you suffer from Spinocerebellar Ataxia, this condition may cause progressive degeneration of the cerebellum and spinal cord. The condition could lead to progressive difficulty with their motor skills and coordination. Specific symptoms vary though base don the severity of the disease. Some common symptoms include speech difficulties, swallowing problems, difficulty eating, and problems with ambulating and balancing.

Another condition thats on the CAP list is called: Ataxia Telangiectasia. Ataxia Telangiectasia is often referred to as Louis-Bar Syndrome. This condition can affects multiple body parts, including a person’s ability to fight infections as well as affecting the body’s motor coordination control. If you have been diagnosed with this, your chances of getting cancer or a respiratory disorder increases substantially.

Ataxia in the Blue Book

Another way of being approved for disability benefits is by meeting the criteria within SSA's Blue Book. Under Blue Book listing 11.17, neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system, this listing section includes Friedreich’s Ataxia and spinocerebellar degeneration. To qualify under listing 11.17, you MUST have one the below:

Disorganization of motor functioning in two extremities that causes extreme limitations in the ability to stand when getting up from a seated position, balance while walking or standing, or use the upper extremities


Have marked limitation in physical functioning as well as in one of the following:

  • Adapting or managing oneself

  • Understanding, remembering or applying information

  • Interacting with others

If your medical doctor can provide a medical opinion detailing why you meet the listing criteria, this could help you win you social security disability claim.

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