What is the Compassionate Allowances program?

What is the Social Security Compassionate Allowance program?When a person has been diagnosed with a rapidly progressing or fatal condition, getting help quickly is essential. The average waiting time for a decision about a Social Security disability application can be as long as two years, so if you are in need of immediate assistance, you would be out of luck, even with retroactive benefits. However, under the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, certain conditions can be approved almost immediately to ensure you get the benefits you need when you need them.

What Conditions Qualify for Compassionate Allowance?

Through the Compassionate Allowances program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets their statutory standard for disability. To qualify as disabled by the SSA, you must demonstrate all of the following:

  • You cannot do the work you did before your illness or injury.
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition, according to the SSA’s assessment.
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

The SSA understands that certain conditions, just based on the diagnosis, will inevitably meet these standards and expedite the decision-making process so the applicant can begin receiving their monthly benefits right away. There are over 250 conditions currently on the CAL list, including the following:

  • Many forms of metastasized cancer, including bladder, breast, esophageal, gallbladder, kidney, liver, lung, ovarian, and more
  • Childhood cancers, such as neuroblastoma, lymphoma, and leukemia
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • The ALS-Parkinsonism Dementia Complex
  • Various heart conditions, including awaiting a heart transplant

A complete list of conditions currently approved for CAL can be found on the SSA website.

How Our Social Security Attorneys Can Help

While the SSA says that their cutting-edge technology quickly identifies claims that qualify for CAL, mistakes can be made. You may also have a serious diagnosis that is not listed as an approved condition but which should qualify you for expedited benefits. When you don’t have any time to spare, make sure your SSDI application is not overlooked. Call our Indianapolis Social Security lawyer team to get an SSDI attorney working on your claim from your initial diagnosis. We are here to help!


James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller