Monday, October 3, 2011

What Are Compassionate Allowances?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a list of illnesses and conditions that are known as Compassionate Allowances. Compassionate Allowances are serious illnesses that SSA is able to quickly and easily identify and therefore speed up the decision-making process significantly.

There are 100 total Compassionate Allowances, with 12 of them added as recently as three months ago. Social Security’s list includes Acute Leukemia, several types of cancer, Heart Transplant wait list 1A/1B, Leigh’s Disease, Mixed Dementias, and Salivary Tumors, along with many others. To view the full list, click here.

The disability process regularly takes 4-6 months to have a finding made on a claim, whereas an applicant with a Compassionate Allowance disease can have a decision made in under a month as much less medical evidence is required to process the claim. Usually, Social Security must evaluate a claimant’s past work history to determine if their conditions are severe enough to keep them from going back to their previous job or any job that exists in the national economy. However, Compassionate Allowances are usually so severe that it is clear a claimant cannot do any type of work due to their disability.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a severe illness that falls under SSA’s Compassionate Allowance list, it is essential that you make sure that SSA is aware of this when applying for disability benefits. The best way to ensure that SSA processes your claim correctly, especially if your condition is a Compassionate Allowance, is to hire an attorney. Your disability attorney will stay on top of all paperwork and requests from Social Security and make sure that all your medical records have been received. For more information, visit us at

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