The Social Security Administration established the Compassionate Allowances program in an attempt to expedite cases where individuals have medical conditions that are very severe and would qualify under one of the listings. However, not all diseases are met under a specific listing, but still may be approved under the CAL.
Ataxia-telangiectasia is a rare inherited disorder that affects the nervous system, immune system, and other body systems. People with ataxia-telangiectasia often have a weakened immune system, many develop chronic lung infections, have an increased risk of developing cancer, particularly cancer of blood-forming cells (leukemia) and cancer of immune system cells (lymphoma). Affected individuals are very sensitive to the effects of radiation exposure, including medical x-rays, and the life expectancy of people with ataxia-telangiectasia varies greatly, but affected individuals typically live into early adulthood.
Since individuals with A-T do have a weakened immune system, they are susceptible to recurrent respiratory infections. Other features of the disease may include mild diabetes mellitus, premature graying of the hair, difficulty swallowing, and delayed physical and sexual development. There is neither a cure for A-T nor is there a specific therapy for the neurological problems associated with the disease, however nobody has yet shown in a convincing way that physical therapy or specific nutritional supplements have helped, though there are many proponents of these approaches.
For proper evaluation, Social Security recommends a sequence analysis of the ATM gene, because if it has identified mutations in both alleles in the proband, then the diagnosis of A-T is confirmed. Ataxia-telangiectasia meets listing 11.17A, Degenerative disease not listed elsewhere.