What Is Compassionate Allowance?

What Is Compassionate Allowance?

compassionate allowance

Most of the time when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you have to wait months to find out if you’re eligible for benefits. But in some extreme cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may make an exception and begin awarding benefits with a much shorter waiting period. This applies only to those with very serious diseases or medical conditions, and is referred to as compassionate allowance.

How Does Compassionate Allowance Work?

Your first-time application for Social Security disability benefits can take a significant amount of time to process, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On top of this, the SSA rejects the majority of initial applications, in which case you must go through the SSDI appeals process, another lengthy ordeal.

Compassionate allowance (also called the CAL initiative) was introduced by the SSA in 2012 to streamline the process of qualifying for disability benefits for those who are severely disabled and in need of more prompt financial assistance.

It’s important to note that even those who qualify for compassionate allowance won’t begin receiving benefits immediately. You may be approved as early as several weeks from the date your application is received to a few months after the fact.

Who Qualifies for Compassionate Allowance?

In order to qualify for compassionate allowance, you must have been diagnosed with a medical condition that, by definition, meets Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. Qualifying conditions include, but are not limited to, certain kinds of cancer, brain disorders in adults, and certain rare disorders affecting children. 

When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, your application will go to the Disability Determination Service (DDS) office in your state in order to be evaluated. Specialized computer software will automatically determine whether your medical condition qualifies under the CAL initiative.

Based on the medical, employment, and other personal information submitted in your application, software will flag your application if it is likely to qualify for compassionate allowance. It will then be transferred to DDS examiners who will process your disability insurance claim on an expedited basis. 

Because so much of this process has been automated, it’s absolutely crucial to fill out your disability application completely and correctly. If you need help filing your application for benefits, contact a social security disability attorney for assistance.

Compassionate Allowance Conditions A To Z

The Compassionate Allowances List maintained by the Social Security Administration is extensive, covering over 200 known conditions. You can access the full list on the SSA website, or browse a cross-section of more common conditions below:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Adult onset Huntington disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Bladder cancer (inoperable)
  • Breast cancer (inoperable)
  • Child lymphoma
  • Early onset Alzheimer’s disease (younger than 65)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Heart transplant wait list (1A/ 1B)
  • Kidney cancer (inoperable)
  • Liver cancer
  • Mixed dementias
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Osteosarcoma (inoperable)
  • Ovarian cancer (inoperable)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency (childhood)
  • Skin malignant melanoma with metastases
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, types 0 and 1)
  • Stomach cancer (inoperable)
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Ureter cancer (inoperable)

What Should I Do If My Disability Isn’t On the List?

There’s no denying that getting approved for disability benefits can be a frustrating drawn-out process. If you are already struggling with day-to-day activities because of your disability or disease, trying to meet the SSA’s strict criteria on top of this can be simply too much for one person or even family to handle on their own. 

At Social Security Disability Advocates USA, we know that just trying to cope with your disability can cause undue emotional and financial stress. Receiving the disability benefits you are entitled to shouldn’t have to be difficult. With a social security disability lawyer on your side, you can make sure you get the maximum disability benefits amount possible in the shortest amount of time.

Our legal team will help you from the day you apply all the way up until the day you begin receiving benefits. Call our office today at 602-952-3200 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options with an experienced professional. You can also reach a live representative online by using our LiveChat feature, or by requesting your consultation through this convenient contact form

For more information about qualifying for SSDI benefits, including the ultimate disability secrets the SSA doesn’t want you to know, follow us on Facebook.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.
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