Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance program allows expedited decisions for individuals with certain medical conditions.
Compassionate Allowances… [are] a way to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security’s standards.
“Getting benefits quickly to people with the most severe medical conditions is both the right and the compassionate thing to do,” Commissioner Astrue said. “This initiative will allow us to make decisions on these cases in a matter of days, rather than months or years.”
How to request a Compassionate Allowance:
Unfortunately, Social Security does not have instructions yet about HOW to request expedited processing if a case meets the requirements for a compassionate allowance.
If you have one of these conditions, but you have already been denied and are waiting on a hearing, try the following:
- Contact the hearing office to see if the case has been assigned to a judge.
- If it has been assigned, ask for the judge’s name and verify that the judge can be reached through that hearing office (this may sound odd, but you want to be sure the letter reaches the judge).
- The Compassionate Allowance process can be used at any stage of the administrative process. Send a letter to the judge asking that your case be “flagged for fast track processing under the Compassionate Allowance program.” You should state which of the eligible conditions you have, and try to pinpoint any supporting medical records. You may want to get a lawyer’s help to do the second part.
- Follow up with the hearing office to make sure some action was taken.
Conditions eligible for compassionate allowances
Here are the first 50 conditions eligible for compassionate allowances:
- Acute Leukemia
- Adrenal Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
- Alexander Disease (ALX) – Neonatal and Infantile
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
- Astrocytoma – Grade III and IV
- Bladder Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
- Bone Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
- Breast Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
- Canavan Disease (CD)
- Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal (COFS) Syndrome
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) – Blast Phase
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) – Adult
- Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor)
- Esophageal Cancer
- Farber’s Disease (FD) – Infantile
- Friedreichs Ataxia (FRDA)
- Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Picks Disease -Type A – Adult
- Gallbladder Cancer
- Gaucher Disease (GD) – Type 2
- Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Tumor)
- Head and Neck Cancers – with distant metastasis or inoperable or uresectable
- Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
- Kidney Cancer – inoperable or unresectable
- Krabbe Disease (KD) – Infantile
- Large Intestine Cancer – with distant metastasis or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
- Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS)
- Liver Cancer
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)
- Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) – Late Infantile
- Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) – Type A
- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer – with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
- Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) – Type II
- Ovarian Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma
- Pleural Mesothelioma
- Pompe Disease – Infantile
- Rett (RTT) Syndrome
- Salivary Tumors
- Sandhoff Disease
- Small Cell Cancer (of the Large Intestine, Ovary, Prostate, or Uterus)
- Small Cell Lung Cancer
- Small Intestine Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – Types 0 And 1
- Stomach Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
- Thyroid Cancer
- Ureter Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Since I wrote this post, Social Security has added additional conditions. For more information (including the current list of allowable conditions), visit the Social Security Compassionate Allowances page.
CC Photo by CarbonNYC [in SF!]