The Compassionate Allowances program could be the answer for applicants who are seriously ill. Under normal circumstances, getting a disability claim approved by the Social Security Administration is not always guaranteed. Disabled individuals may need to appeal a denied claim and go through a legal battle before they are approved. Approval is an essential step before they become eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

What is the Compassionate Allowances Program?

The Compassionate Allowances program is a quicker way for disability applicants to be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The program identifies disability claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets the statutory standard for disability. Because of these conditions’ severity, the claims are often allowed based solely on medical confirmation alone.

In the last decade, the list of conditions that qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program has grown to 242 and includes certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and several rare disorders that affect children. Five new conditions were recently added to the conditions list:

  1. Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors
  2. GM1 Gangliosidosis – Infantile and Juvenile Forms
  3. Nicolaides-Baraister Syndrome
  4. Rubinstein-Tybai Syndrome
  5. Secondary Adenocarcinoma of the Brain

Technology is Key to the Program

Technology has made it possible to identify potential candidates for the Compassionate Allowances program and give them quick decisions because time is often of the essence based on the severity of their conditions. Social Security must obtain a disability applicant’s medical records after he or she applies for disability benefits to use in making a determination for benefits.

Using Social Security’s Health IT, electronic records transmission allows the agency to obtain a claimant’s medical information quickly, review it, and determine whether they are approved for the Compassionate Allowances program. If the claimant is not approved for the program but should have been, they may need to appeal the Social Security findings to avoid going through the typical path to SSDI.

The Normal Path to Reaching SSDI

Normally, a disabled individual is automatically eligible for SSDI benefits after their sixth full month of disability. The six month period starts during the first full month after the Social Security Administration determines that the disability began. Individuals who suffer from a condition that is covered by the Compassionate Allowances program benefit by not having to go through the hassle of waiting six months to be declared permanently disabled to qualify.