Social Security Administration Expands its Compassionate Allowance Program

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Sep 17, 2021 | Sara Khaki

If you are suffering from a severe medical impairment, Social Security disability benefits can help you get the care and resources you need. However, the process of obtaining benefits can be overwhelming, from when you apply to the day you receive a decision from the Social Security Administrative (SSA).

During this time, a lack of income and resources in addition to your disabling condition can further impact your well-being. The SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program streamlines this process for those dealing with certain severe medical conditions.

The SSA recently announced an expansion of the Compassionate Allowances list to better serve people with severe disabilities. To improve your understanding of these changes and how they could impact your eligibility for disability compensation, get in touch with a Social Security attorney at our firm.

What is the Compassionate Allowance List?

Under the Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, the Social Security Administration is obligated to quickly award Social Security disability benefits to claimants with certain severe medical conditions. These conditions are deemed so severe that, just by the nature of the medical diagnosis, the conditions meet the definition of disability.

The Compassionate Allowances list of impairments helps the SSA quickly identify over 200 diseases and medical conditions that meet their standards for disability benefits. Currently, these conditions include hundreds of conditions, such as pancreatic cancer, ALS, and acute leukemia, adult brain disorders, and some rare disabilities that affect children.

The SSA plans to add the following 12 new conditions to the Compassionate Allowances list:

  • Charlevoix Saguenay Spastic Ataxia (ARSACS);
  • Choroid Plexus Carcinoma;
  • CIC-rearranged Sarcoma;
  • Congenital Zika Syndrome;
  • Desmoplastic Mesothelioma;
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Adult);
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma;
  • Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma;
  • Renpenning Syndrome;
  • SCN8A Related Epilepsy with Encephalopathy;
  • SYNGAP1-related NSID; and
  • Taybi-Linder Syndrome.

Applying for Benefits for a Compassionate Allowance Condition

When you apply for disability benefits, the SSA requires you to undergo a medical evaluation to determine your eligibility for compensation. Technology and the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program allows for faster decisions and decreases the time it takes to receive Social Security benefits. By expanding the program to include more conditions, the SSA aims to accelerate the application process for those most likely to be approved due to the severe nature of their conditions.

Rather than waiting months or years to gain disability benefits, under CAL, claimants may receive Social Security disability benefits within weeks. However, this fast-tracked process may be affected by the time it takes Social Security to obtain your medical records as well as a medical statement from your doctor or a medical examiner. You may want to contact your medical providers to let them know that you are going through this process and need their immediate attention to any requests from the Social Security Administration. Additionally, the SSA selects some claimants for a quality review, which can also delay the Compassionate Allowance process.

Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney Today

If you or a loved one are suffering from a disabling impairment, it’s important to check if your condition is included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program. If you have any questions about the Compassionate Allowances program or applying for disability benefits, contact the Social Security attorneys at the Khaki Law Firm today.


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