Applications for Social Security disability benefits can take years to wind their way through the system. All the while, applicants suffer from debilitating medical conditions. In addition to what can be chronic pain and discomfort, this benefit applicants also often struggle with loss of income due to the inability to retain gainful work. The stress of such resulting financial strain can be severe. Under certain circumstances, some claimants can put their application on a fast track to approval through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowance program, which has been recently expanded to include even more medical conditions.
New Conditions Included in the SSA Compassionate Allowance Program
Former SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue instituted the Compassionate Allowance program back in 2007. The program was established to help clear through the backlog of cases in the Social Security disability system which was reaching upwards into the thousands. Those in this backlog had often been waiting up to two years to receive a determination or hearing on their applications.
The Compassionate Allowance program is essentially an expedited application process for benefit applicants who have special circumstances. Those suffering from certain conditions can receive benefits assistance in a much more timely manner considering the normal route can be quite lengthy. While a significant portion of the conditions listed as qualifying for the Compassionate Allowance program are rare diseases, some are more common. The list of qualifying conditions has been developed by members of the medical community as well as members of the scientific community. In fact, members of the public are able to suggest conditions that should be added to the list.
Conditions included in the Compassionate Allowance list are considered to not only be serious but difficult to live with. Many of the listed conditions are considered to be terminal illnesses. Part of the justification for including a condition on the Compassionate Allowance list is that these are medical conditions that are very likely to lead to a claimant’s application being approved for benefits.
While the Compassionate Allowance provides a faster, more streamlined application process, there is a process to comply with, nonetheless. You must present evidence of certain facts, particularly relating to your diagnosis of a condition on the Compassionate Allowance list. You will still need to fill out all required paperwork properly and completely as well.
Previously, the list of conditions qualifying for the Compassionate Allowance program sat at 254 conditions. The Acting Commissioner of the SSA, Kilol Kijakazi, however, announced back in August of 20221 that 12 new conditions would be added to the list. The 12 newly listed conditions are:
- Charlevoix Saguenay Spastic Ataxia (ARSACS)
- Choroid Plexus Carcinoma
- CIC-rearranged Sarcoma
- Congenital Zika Syndrome
- Desmoplastic Mesothelioma
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – Adult
- Pericardial Mesothelioma
- Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Renpenning Syndrome
- SCN8A Related Epilepsy with Encephalopathy
- SYNGAP1-related NSIA
- Taybi-Linder Syndrome