The Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application process is usually a lengthy one. However, if you have a critical condition that requires an immediate decision you may be eligible to request a Compassionate Allowance, which is designed to reduce the time between applying and receiving benefits. Compassionate Allowances are an expedited way for the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to identify medical conditions that invariably qualify for SSD benefits based on minimal objective medical information.
I represent a 58 year old plumber diagnosed with live cancer, which is one of the diseases included on the Compassionate Allowance list. Others on the list include cancers, lymphomas, mesothelioma, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, spinal or brain injuries, early onset Alzheimer's Disease and some types of dementia. To avoid any potential delay, the application and report regarding liver cancer were faxed, mailed, and followed up almost on a daily basis to ensure that everything was received and being immediately processed as a Compassionate Allowance. The claimant’s SSD benefits, as well as his children’s benefits, were approved today, three weeks after the application was filed.
The SSA can deny a request for a Compassionate Allowance just like any other SSD claim. Similarly, the SSA can lose evidence submitted on a Compassionate Allowance claim, or have it fall through the bureaucratic cracks like thousands of other SSD claims. While an attorney should not be required to obtain SSD benefits ultimately for a condition on the Compassionate Allowance list, if time is a concern, then an attorney can help ensure that the SSD application, along with any Child’s Benefits application, will be expeditiously and properly processed as a Compassionate Allowance.