The Compassionate Allowances initiative was created as a way for patients with severe illnesses to receive faster approval for their Social Security disability benefits.
In order to qualify, claimants must be suffering from a condition that's unlikely to improve and suffer symptoms consistent with a typical case of the injury.
Conditions That Qualify for Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance Program
The Social Security Administration (SSA) currently maintains a list of over 200 qualifying Compassionate Allowance medical conditions. However, each one has specific criteria for meeting Compassionate Allowance (CA) processing. In some cases, a confirmed diagnosis is enough to qualify a patient for CA, while other listed conditions require a detailed account of the severity or progression of the illness.
Conditions that qualify for CA include:
- Cancer. The majority of CA claims involve cancer diagnosis, including cases of breast cancer, gynecologic cancers, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and leukemia. Some cancer claims will only qualify for CA once the disease has progressed—(for example, malignant melanoma will qualify only if it has metastasized.
- Organ deficiency or failure. Abnormal development or functioning in the heart (such as aortic atresia), brain (including Alobar holoprosencephaly), or other organs (such as hepatorenal syndrome) generally qualify for the program. Neurological conditions such as ataxia-telangiectasia or blood disorders such as aplastic anemia are also accepted under CA.
- Degenerative conditions. CA grants expedited benefits to people with conditions that rapidly cause deterioration or early death, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS), muscular dystrophy, early-onset Alzheimer's disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, and other rapidly-advancing illnesses.
It's worth noting that not all potentially fatal illnesses automatically qualify for Compassionate Allowance. A person with HIV or AIDS may continue to successfully live and work while he receives treatment, and may only qualify for benefits if his condition reaches a point where he's no longer able to earn a living.
If you're having trouble filing your application for disability benefits, call us today or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation with a Social Security attorney.