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Information About the Compassionate Allowances Program

We hear a lot about the long waits and the initial denials that Social Security Disability applicants experience. However, a few claimants do not suffer these delays. The Social Security Administration has a fast track program, called Compassionate Allowances, to identify and process SSD applications arising from very specific conditions and injuries.

information About the Compassionate Allowances Program

We hear a lot about the long waits and the initial denials that SSD applicants experience. However, a few claimants do not suffer these delays. The Social Security Administration has a fast track program, called Compassionate Allowances, to identify and process applications arising from very specific conditions and injuries.

The conditions and illnesses that qualify applicants for the Compassionate Allowances program are those that are almost always approved. It allows the SSA to target applications from those who are most seriously disabled. Generally, rare diseases, cancers, traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, early-onset Alzheimer's disease, dementias, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease, recipients of multiple organ transplants and autoimmune diseases.

In the fall of 2011, new conditions were added to the Compassionate Allowances list. These are:

•§ Angelman Syndrome

•§ Lewy Body Dementia

•§ Lowe Syndrome

•§ Malignant Multiple Sclerosis

•§ Multicentric Castleman Disease

•§ Multiple System Atrophy

•§ Paraneoplastic Pemphigus

•§ Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)

•§ Peritoneal Mesothelioma

•§ Pleural Mesothelioma

•§ Pompe Disease - Infantile

•§ Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis

•§ Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma

•§ Primary Effusion Lymphoma

•§ Primary Progressive Aphasia

•§ Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy

•§ Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

•§ Pulmonary Atresia

•§ Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma

•§ The ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex

In all, 113 illnesses and conditions qualify applicants for the Compassionate Allowances program. The program was launched in 2008 with 50 qualifying conditions and illnesses; new qualifying conditions are added every year. Sometimes it only takes days to be approved for benefits, rather than the months or years often required.

Because eligibility for the Compassionate Allowances program changes frequently, it is important to consult an advocate with up-to-the-minute information on SSD matters. At Binder & Binder®, a national disability advocacy firm, our disability specialists are trained and knowledgeable about all aspects of Social Security Disability, including the Compassionate Allowances program.

Source: Social Security Online, "Compassionate Allowances," Nov. 28, 2011.

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