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What is a compassionate allowance?

If you have been diagnosed with a potentially aggressive form of cancer or with another medical condition that is either terminal or is so serious that you are almost certainly going to need a year or more to receive treatment and recover, you may qualify for a special initiative. This initiative is sponsored by the Social Security Administration and it is called the Compassionate Allowances Initiative.

When individuals qualify for compassionate allowances, they are essentially allowed to bypass much of the traditional application process for Social Security Disability benefits. Instead of being forced to wait months for a decision and to have their initial applications potentially rejected, these individuals have their SSD process expedited. They are then able to receive their benefits in a matter of days or a few short weeks, as opposed to waiting for months on end.

The reason for the Compassionate Allowances Initiative is fairly straightforward. Medical conditions which qualify for allowances are so severe that their very diagnosis signals a patient’s inability to work full-time for a significant period of time. In addition, these conditions are severe in all patients, whereas other potentially serious diagnoses may manifest somewhat differently in various patients. Although individuals seeking a compassionate allowance are required to submit an application for benefits supported by medical evidence, the application process is easier and the wait time is substantially diminished when compared to normal wait times for SSD approval.

If you have questions about this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney experienced in Social Security matters.

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