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What Are Compassionate Allowances?

disabled man at the cash machine

Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be a challenge. The process can be long and arduous, as the government vets and re-vets applications while succumbing to its own administrative delays and complications. In the meantime, deserving applicants are faced with mounting medical bills, limited income, and uncertainty about whether they will even receive proper benefits once their application has finally been processed. Thankfully, there are processes available to certain applicants in order to expedite the process. Continue reading to learn about compassionate allowances, and call a knowledgeable Social Security Disability benefits attorney for help applying for SSI or SSDI benefits or responding to a Social Security denial.

Compassionate Allowances: The Fast Track to SSDI Benefits

The Compassionate Allowances program was established in response to complaints about the length of time it can take to obtain approval for SSI or SSDI benefits, even for obviously disabled applicants. The program can provide benefits quickly to applicants who suffer from medical conditions that are so serious that it is clear they will qualify for disability under an SSA impairment listing.

Essentially, the program allows the SSA to target the most deserving applicants first in order to offer them immediate relief. Whereas the average application for disability benefits can take months to resolve, the average processing time for a compassionate allowance case is only 19 days. You may receive your award notice in as little as 10 days if you can demonstrate your eligibility. The SSA uses the same rules to evaluate Compassionate Allowance conditions as when evaluating SSDI or SSI conditions, but if the applicant’s condition clearly meets the SSA standard for disability, the process will be extremely streamlined using SSA technology.

How to Prove Compassionate Allowance Eligibility

Obtaining benefits through Compassionate Allowance is actually much easier than the typical application process, befitting the fact that it is meant for applicants whose cases are exceedingly obvious. If you claim to have a disability or disease on the Compassionate Allowance List (CAL), your application will be switched to the fast-track review process.

You must be able to provide medical data to support your claim, but a relatively small amount of objective medical data is sufficient. The SSA may call your treating doctors rather than write to them in order to quickly obtain the evidence they need. If you can provide your own medical records quickly that obviously establish your condition (such as a clear diagnosis of blindness), the process will be even faster. So long as your condition obviously meets the requirements, you will get a positive decision quickly.

Which Conditions Qualify for Compassionate Allowance?

There are a number of conditions on the CAL, all of which are listed on the SSA’s website. The conditions include a variety of cancers, adult brain disorders, ALS, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other illnesses. Some conditions meet the listing with any evidence of a diagnosis (such as esophageal cancer), while other conditions require supporting evidence to demonstrate the condition is sufficiently severe. Some cancers, for example, only qualify once they have metastasized. Your disability benefits attorney can help you understand whether your condition qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance or whether you have yet to hit certain thresholds and must instead proceed through the normal application process.

Experienced Assistance Collecting California Disability Benefits

For help obtaining disability benefits in southern California or statewide, call the seasoned and compassionate Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSD/SSI) attorneys Drake & Drake at 818-914-4055.

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