Friedreichs Ataxia

Recently I met a young woman who was applying for social security disability benefits who had been diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia.  This is a debilitating and life-shortening genetic neuro-muscular disease.  About 1 in 50,000 people in the United States have this disease.  Unfortunately, this disease has no cure or effective treatment currently. 

This disease can cause significant degradation of muscle function, motor coordination and other faculties such as hearing and sight.  This condition also is associated with scoliosis and other spinal problems due to the nature of the disease which destroys nerve tissues in the spinal cord.  The medical listing that can be considered in a case like this is listing 11.17. This listing is designated for Friedrich’s Ataxia and other non-specific degenerative neurological disorders.  Friedreich’s Ataxia is a disease that leaves most wheelchair bound and shortens their life with further problems such as heart failure.  Depending on the progression of the disease, the condition can be an easy qualifier for disability.  It is important to talk to a social security disability lawyer about this condition.  If you have this condition, it would be important to treat with a neurologist or a Friedreich’s Ataxia specialist. 

By Joshua Tripp

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