Ohio Social Security Disability And SSI Legal Blog

What are compassionate allowances?

Compassionate allowances for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that they meet Social Security’s standards for disability. The Social Security Administration recognizes that certain conditions are inherently disabling and warrant quick approval to provide benefits immediately. This program is crucial for individuals who are facing some of the most severe disabilities and illnesses, ensuring they receive the support they need without undue delay.

Under the compassionate allowances program, the SSA maintains a list of conditions automatically qualifying for this expedited process. The list includes certain types of cancers, rare diseases, brain disorders and other conditions to help reduce the waiting time for decisions. 

The SSA continually reviews the list of Compassionate Allowance conditions. They work with medical and scientific experts, as well as with public feedback, to update and expand this list to include new conditions that warrant expedited processing.

Application process

Individuals applying for SSDI or SSI benefits with a condition on the CAL list generally undergo a faster review process. However, they must still meet other eligibility criteria for SSDI or SSI, including work history and income limits.

For those with a CAL condition, the SSA aims to decide on their eligibility for benefits quickly, often within days or weeks of receiving the application, compared to months or years for typical disability claims.

Once approved, individuals receive the benefits they are entitled to under SSDI or SSI, including monthly disability payments. These benefits can provide crucial financial support and access to medical care.

There isn’t a specific application for the compassionate allowances program. Instead, applications are flagged if they include a condition on the list. It’s critical for anyone applying for benefits to include accurate information about every diagnosis. Working with someone familiar with this process is beneficial.