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SSA Expands Compassionate Allowance Program

January 17, 2022 Disability

The application process for Social Security disability benefits can be lengthy. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), it takes about three to five months to make an initial decision on a claim. If the claim is approved, it takes approximately another five months for the benefits to begin. However, these figures are for the most ideal situations; most claims are denied at the initial decision stage, meaning that it takes much longer for most applicants to begin receiving benefits. This is not ideal for claimants with severe or terminal disabilities. In recognition of this, the SSA developed the Compassionate Allowances program, which expedites processing for claimants with certain diseases. Recently, the SSA expanded its list of conditions that qualify as Compassionate Allowances. If you think you might be entitled to a Compassionate Allowance, a Baltimore disability lawyer can help you begin your claim. 

How the Compassionate Allowances Program Works

Under normal circumstances, an applicant for Social Security disability benefits must prove to the SSA that their condition meets the agency’s strict definition of “disability.” This normally requires the submission of voluminous evidence and may involve a consultative examination to gather even more evidence. This process can take months. Under the Compassionate Allowances program, the SSA maintains a list of conditions that are so severe that they obviously meet the agency’s disability standards, allowing. qualifying claimants to bypass most of the medical review process. These claims can usually be allowed based on confirmation of the claimant’s own medical evidence alone. The list of qualifying illnesses is extensive but includes some common severe conditions such as brain disorders, many types of cancers, and rare genetic diseases. 

Expansion of the Compassionate Allowances Program 

The SSA periodically adds new conditions to the Compassionate Allowances program. In late 2021, the SSA announced that it was adding 12 conditions to the list of Compassionate Allowances. They are: 

  • 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
  • Taybi-Linder Syndrome

The SSA considers information from the public, comments from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, advice from medical experts, and research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify new conditions for Compassionate Allowances. It also allows individuals to submit the name of a condition for consideration. 

How to Apply for Consideration Under the Compassionate Allowances Program 

The Compassionate Allowances program is one of the easiest federal programs to apply to because it requires nothing beyond a standard Social Security disability application. The SSA screens all applications for conditions on its Compassionate Allowances list. If the application contains a qualifying condition and appropriate supporting medical evidence, it will automatically apply for expedited processing. 

Get Help from a Baltimore Disability Lawyer Today

If you have a qualifying condition, you may be entitled to expedited processing under the Compassionate Allowances program. For more information, please contact Baltimore disability lawyer Emmett B. Irwin by calling 443-839-0818 or using our online contact form.