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Compassionate allowances and the Social Security benefits process

The process of determining if a California resident qualifies for Social Security disability benefits can be lengthy. This is unfortunate for all individuals who require support to live their lives in the wake of their injuries and illnesses. However, the Social Security Administration does employ an expedited review process that grants qualifying individuals' benefits on a faster timeline. This expedited review is called the compassionate allowances program.

A compassionate allowance occurs when the Social Security Administration determines that the applicant's particular disease or illness has been predetermined to automatically qualify under the Listing of Impairments for the purpose of determining whether an applicant should be awarded benefits. The diseases and illnesses that qualify for compassionate allowances are established through hearings where the Social Security Administration obtains evidence and comments from a variety of other agencies and individuals.

At present the Social Security Administration has held seven separate public outreach hearings to determine which diseases and illnesses should qualify for compassionate allowances. Diseases that may qualify individuals for compassionate allowances can include but are not limited to certain cancers, traumatic brain injuries and organ transplants.

Since the wait for a full Social Security review of one's SSD benefits or income application may take a very long time, it is in the interest of an applicant who suffers from a disease on the compassionate allowance list to clearly demonstrate that illness in his application paperwork. The effective demonstration of such a disability or disease may result in the applicant having his request approved on an expedited timeline if the applicant meets all other requirements. Individuals who require support preparing their applications for benefits and income are always encouraged to seek the counsel of Social Security disability lawyers who practice in their communities.

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