How does the Compassionate Allowances initiative work?

Many individuals with a variety of disabling conditions apply for Social Security disability benefits each year. These benefits are specifically set aside for those individuals who are considered totally disabled.

For those seeking SSD benefits, the condition they are suffering should have lasted a year or is expected to last a year, or at the very worst, should be expected to lead to death. Those who qualify have to show evidence that the disability interferes with their ability to do the work that they used to and that they cannot adjust to other work.

While in many cases this is hard to prove and the approval process may take months, there is thankfully a loophole of sorts for those with very serious conditions. The Social Security Administration has something called the Compassionate Allowances list. This list includes numerous health conditions that qualify for expedited processing for disability benefits.

A person with one of these conditions needs to apply for benefits in the same way that others would. The administration will note if an applicant has a condition from the list and will expedite the process. If they need additional information, they will contact the applicant.

The nice thing about this process is that it speeds up the approval process so much that applicants may receive a decision within weeks instead of months or even years. Not only that, but these conditions can qualify for benefits based on “minimal objective medical information,” which can be a huge relief in terms of gathering evidence.

This list serves a great purpose for those applying for disability benefits. Unfortunately, not all individuals who need disability benefits suffer from the conditions on this list. Those individuals may initially get denied for benefits and choose to work with an attorney in order to appeal.