What are Impairments that Affect Multiple Body Systems as described by the Social Security Administration (SSA)?
According to the SSA, impairments that affect multiple body systems include Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.
How is Down Syndrome defined?
Down syndrome is when a person has an extra chromosome 21 within the cells of the body.
This extra chromosome changes development of the brain and body. Down syndrome is characterized by:
- Mental Retardation
- Physical characteristics
- Delay in physical development
What is the difference in Non-mosaic Down Syndrome & Mosaic Down Syndrome and how are they evaluated by the SSA?
Non-mosaic Down syndrome occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21 in every cell of your body.
This is the most common form of Down syndrome. Non-mosaic Down syndrome affect the skeletal systems, mental, and the neurological systems. Often times, Non-mosaic Down syndrome is paired with impaired vision, impaired hearing, heart disease, and other conditions.
A claimant with supporting evidence from a medical examiner confirming the claimant to have non-mosaic Down syndrome will be considered disabled from birth by the SSA.
Mosaic Down syndrome is when you have only some cells with an extra chromosome 21 and some cells with the normal two copies of chromosome 21. Mosaic Down syndrome affects a small percentage of people with Down syndrome. There is a wide range in the severity of Mosaic Down syndrome.
The SSA will evaluate claimants with mosaic Down syndrome under the specific criteria set by the SSA on an individual case basis.
How does the SSA evaluate other impairments that affect multiple body systems?
If a person has a different impairment(s) that affects multiple body systems, the SSA will consider whether the impairment(s) qualifies under another body system’s criteria.
There are other impairments that can cause deviation from, or interruption of, the normal function of the body or interfere with development, such as:
- Congenital anomalies
- Chromosomal disorders
- Dysmorphic syndromes
- Metabolic disorders
- Perinatal infectious diseases
In these impairments, the degree of deviation or interruption may vary widely from person to person. Therefore, the resulting functional limitations and the progression of those limitations also vary widely.
For this reason, the SSA evaluates the specific effects of these impairments on the claimant on an individual case basis.
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