In 2008, the Social Security Administration first launched the Compassionate Allowances Initiative to expedite claim determinations for the most severe qualifying medical conditions, according to the agency.
The program is not separate from the Social Security disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs. Instead, it is a way of identifying those diseases that should automatically meet the definition of disability under the SSI and SSDI programs and offers a streamlined, or “fast-track” process for people with qualifying conditions to seek these forms of federal disability benefits.
From time-to-time, the agency expands the list of conditions that qualify for fast-track eligibility determinations under the Compassionate Allowances program. In mid-January, the agency announced the addition of 25 conditions to the list of Compassionate Allowances; bringing the total number of identified conditions to 225.
Acting SSA Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said in a news release that, “Social Security disability benefits are a vital lifeline for individuals who are facing severe diseases and we must ensure that they receive the benefits they rightly deserve.” Nearly 200,000 people have been approved for federal disability benefits under the streamlined program.
The Compassionate Allowances program, however, is not devoid of red tape and government regulations. A San Diego Social Security disability lawyer may assist applicants in seeking benefits at any stage of the application and appeals process.
The overall list includes many forms of cancer, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other conditions. The new additions include forms of cancer, as well as disorders that attack digestive or immune systems. U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings says that including prostate cancer on the list of Compassionate Allowances is” a decision that will save lives, and give more patients access to treatment options,” according to the agency’s announcement.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions,” Jan. 15, 2014