Waiting for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to approve Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be a frustrating process, even more so if you have life-threatening medical issues. Compassionate Allowances (CAL) can speed up the approval process for those with the most debilitating and terminal conditions. The amount of benefits available for a Compassionate Allowance is the same as the regular SSDI or SSI benefit, but the time frame for review and approval is significantly shortened.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) adopted compassionate allowances in response to complaints that the SSDI application procedure was too drawn-out and cumbersome. CAL identifies specific medical illnesses that are so serious that they unquestionably meet the SSA’s disability requirements. Currently, there are over 240 conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list, including various types of cancer, genetic disorders, and neurological disorders. The SSA adds new conditions intermittently. The current list can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm.
CAL provides much-needed financial support to those who are facing immense medical and financial challenges. For those facing terminal illnesses, the expedited approval process under CAL is intended to provide access to benefits during one’s lifetime.
To be considered for a Compassionate Allowance, the applicant should advise SSA of their qualifying medical condition when applying for benefits. SSA reviews the application and medical records to determine if the applicant meets the Compassionate Allowance criteria. If qualified, SSA will then expedite the Claimant’s application.