BCN-inner-hdr1a

Text Size: A A A

Compassionate Allowances: Social Security’s Fast-Track to Benefits Eligibility


As anyone who has applied for SSDI and/or SSI knows there’s the rather long and tedious application to get through. As part of that application you have to provide as much medical evidence of your disability as you possibly can, and if you don’t have it to hand then you’re reliant on agencies, doctors and other health care organizations to come through for you and provide the information you need. The application process can take months and there’s still no guarantee that you’ll meet Social Security’s criteria for disability.

This isn’t the case for everyone, however, as back in October 2008 Social Security implemented the Compassionate Allowance initiative (CAL). This was designed to expedite the application process for applicants with certain conditions. The concept remains that upon reception of the application from someone with one of the listed conditions Social Security fast-tracks the process, determining eligibility for benefits based on a medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone.  Social Security uses the latest software to identify the conditions not only by name but by key words or phrases so as to try and ensure that nobody falls through the cracks.

Back in 2008 there were 50 conditions identified as qualifying for the CAL, they included certain cancers and rare conditions that affect children.  Over the years the number of conditions has increased markedly and now stands at 233. Just recently five new conditions were added to the list. Those new additions are the assuredly esoteric Fibrolamellar Cancer, Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS), Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome (MCAP), Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System, and the catchily titled Tetrasomy 18p.

For more information about Compassionate Allowances, and a list of all the conditions you can go to: www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.