Friday, September 30, 2011


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life.

Applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) is usually a lengthy process. 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 60 year old claimant who worked in security. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, 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, and spinal or brain injuries. To avoid any potential delay, after the application was filed earlier this month, reports regarding the claimant’s dementia were faxed 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 were approved on September 26, 2011, less than 4 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 may not be required to obtain SSD benefits in the long run 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.

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