Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is not easy to get. If an application is submitted before the age of 62, it is necessary to meet a number of specific requirements. However, there is one important exception that may allow you to receive payments more quickly and easily: the Compassionate Allowance.
Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has expanded its list of medical conditions that qualify for Compassionate Allowance, giving more people the opportunity to access these benefits more expeditiously. Now, a total of 12 never-before-added medical conditions are on this special rating list.
New Medical Conditions Accepted in the SSDI Program
“When a person applies for disability benefits, Social Security must obtain medical records in order to make an accurate determination,” the SSA explains. “The agency incorporates leading technology to identify potential Compassionate Allowances cases and make quick decisions. Social Security’s Health IT brings the speed and efficiency of electronic medical records to the disability determination process. With electronic records transmission, Social Security can quickly obtain a claimant’s medical information, review it, and make a faster determination.”
Compassionate Allowances are a way to rapidly identify illnesses and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for receiving disability benefits. These conditions mainly include certain types of cancer, brain disorders in adults and various rare diseases that affect children. The Compassionate Allowances initiative helps us to reduce the waiting time to determine disability in people with the most serious medical conditions.
By incorporating cutting-edge technology, the agency can efficiently identify potential to make quick decisions. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the same rules to evaluate Compassionate Allowances conditions when evaluating both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
12 New Medical Conditions Accepted in the SSDI Program
- 1p36 Deletion Syndrome: It is a rare genetic disorder characterized by the deletion of a small piece of genetic material from chromosome 1. This syndrome often leads to developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and various physical abnormalities.
- Anaplastic Ependymoma: A type of brain tumor that originates from the ependymal cells lining the brain and spinal cord. It is considered high-grade and can be aggressive, requiring prompt medical attention.
- Calciphylaxis: A rare and serious condition in which calcium accumulates in the small blood vessels of the skin and fatty tissues. It can result in painful skin ulcers and tissue necrosis.
- Cholangiocarcinoma: A cancer that originates in the bile ducts, which are responsible for carrying bile from the liver to the small intestine. It is a challenging cancer to treat and often diagnosed at an advanced stage.
- FOXG1 Syndrome: A rare genetic disorder that affects brain development, leading to severe intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, and neurological problems.
- Leber Congenital Amaurosis: A group of inherited eye disorders that cause severe vision impairment or blindness from birth. It primarily affects the retina and its functioning.
- Metastatic Endometrial Adenocarcinoma: An advanced form of cancer that originates in the lining of the uterus and has spread to other parts of the body, often requiring aggressive treatment approaches.
- Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration: A rare neurological disorder that occurs as a result of the body’s immune response to an underlying cancer, affecting the cerebellum and causing coordination and balance problems.
- Pineoblastoma — Childhood: Pineoblastoma is a rare and aggressive type of brain tumor that typically occurs in children and originates in the pineal gland. It requires specialized treatment due to its location and characteristics.
- Primary Omental Cancer: A rare form of cancer that starts in the omentum, a fatty tissue layer in the abdomen. It is often challenging to diagnose and treat.
- Sarcomatoid Carcinoma of the Lung, Stages II-IV: It is a subtype of lung cancer that contains both malignant epithelial and sarcomatous components. It is typically diagnosed at an advanced stage and is associated with a poorer prognosis.
- Trisomy 9: A genetic condition in which there is an extra copy of chromosome 9 in some or all of the body’s cells. It can lead to a range of developmental and medical issues, and its severity varies among affected individuals.
What is a Compassionate Allowance?
Compassionate Allowances (CAL) is a program by the Social Security Administration (SSA) designed to expedite the application process for individuals with severe medical conditions, ensuring they receive benefits as quickly as possible. This program is not separate from Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income but is a means of helping people access these existing programs.
CAL helps prioritize the most visibly disabled people for benefits based on objective medical evidence that can be gathered promptly. The conditions that qualify for CAL are often those that invariably meet the SSA’s definition of disability based on minimal objective medical information.
The SSA maintains a list of over 200 conditions that qualify as compassionate allowances, including certain cancers, ALS, and rare disorders affecting children. The list is updated based on information gathered through public outreach hearings, opinions from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services, a council of medical and scientific specialists, and research conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
When applying for a Compassionate Allowance, no extra work is required on the application. The SSA worker reviews the medical disability and consults the list of Compassionate Allowances. If the paperwork and test results provided show that the applicant has a qualifying disorder, the applicant will begin to receive payments as soon as possible.