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Is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Considered a Disability?



Is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Considered a Disability?

Is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Considered a Disability?

Currently, approximately 20,000 Americans have been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy or PSP. Individuals suffering from this condition are usually middle-aged or elderly and the disease affects more men than women.

Due to the debilitating nature of this disease, PSP often results in a complete inability to work. This may cause serious financial difficulties. On the bright side, there may be disability benefits available that can assist with part of the financial burden.

If you have been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy and want to know how Social Security disability can help, the following information will provide you with everything you need to get disability for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy under the SSA compassionate allowance guidelines. If you have been diagnosed and need more information on your rights, speak with a OPERS Disability Lawyer.

Defining Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare brain disease that causes people to experience permanent balance and gait control problems. The most obvious sign of the disease is that the patient cannot correctly focus the eyes due to lesions in the brain area that coordinate eye movements. Some people describe this effect as “blur”.

Many times, PSP is misdiagnosed because some of the symptoms associated with the disease are similar to Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease and rarer neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The key to diagnosing PSP is recognizing early gait instability and difficulty in moving the patient’s eyes, which is considered a sign of the disease. It is also important to exclude other similar diseases, some of which are treatable. Although the PSP will gradually deteriorate, no one will die from the PSP itself. People diagnosed with PSP often fall, which can cause further injury.

People’s quality of life and functional ability will decline, and they are more likely to suffer from complications such as dysphagia and pneumonia. Fractures, head trauma, and falling down are also common complications.


People with PSP often experience emotional and behavioral changes, such as apathy and depression and mild progressive dementia. The signs and symptoms that people with this disease experience can vary greatly.

Symptoms of PSP include:

  • Loss of balance
  • Personality changes
  • Weakness in eye movement, especially downward movement
  • Decreased activity of mouth, tongue, and throat
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irritability
  • Sudden episodes of laughter or crying


Progressive supranuclear palsy is caused by damage and degeneration of brain cells in some regions of the brain, but the cause of this degeneration is currently unclear. PSP often affects the brain stem, which is also one of the most important areas of the brain. This brain area is responsible for movement and is also the area most affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Research shows that people diagnosed with PSP generally have abnormal levels of tau protein. Currently, it has not been determined that progressive supranuclear palsy is hereditary or contagious, and it does not have a greater impact on one race than another.

Various theories have been put forward regarding the cause of PSP, which includes exposure to certain chemicals, genetic mutation, or viruses that can infect the body. Some people believe that this disease might be caused by cell damage from free radicals, although this theory is being studied further.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits for progressive supranuclear palsy is difficult. It is well known that nearly 70% of claims received each year are rejected by the Social Security Administration, resulting in the need to file a disability appeal (which can take several years).

Fortunately, according to the SSA compassionate allowance guidelines, progressive supranuclear palsy is now one of the few cases that qualify for this program.

Therefore, applicants with progressive supranuclear palsy may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits within a few weeks, rather than having to wait months or years for benefits to begin.

  • When applying for a disability, make sure you have thoroughly answered all the questions on the form.
  • Do not leave any questions unanswered. When answering questions, please provide as much detail as possible and avoid simple “yes” or “no” answers.

This will help the Decision Determination Service review your records to understand why the claim meets the eligibility criteria for SSA Compassionate Assignment Guidelines. You also need to provide sufficient medical evidence to prove your condition, including relevant medical records and a written statement from your attending doctor.

Can your compassionate allowance disability benefit be rejected?

Do not assume that just because progressive supranuclear palsy is included on the SSA’s list of compassionate allowances, that the Social Security Administration will automatically approve someone for benefits.

Although it is rare for the SSA to reject a sympathy grant claim, it is well known that this happens occasionally. This is usually due to a lack of sufficient medical evidence or incorrect information in the form.

If you want to increase your chances of getting approved based on a diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy cases, you should consider hiring the services of a competent SSDI or SSI attorney. These professionals can help you with your disability claims to ensure your benefits are approved quickly and easily.

Lawyer for Social Security Disability is able to help people with Social Security Disability claim the benefits. If you think that your disability is related to a physical or cognitive impairment, you can contact an attorney who will be able to help with your claim. An attorney will also be able to provide advice on any legal issues that come up in your case.

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