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SSA Adds 12 New Compassionate Allowances


If you are disabled and unable to work, you may wonder how to get benefits quickly. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) does allow you to receive benefits if certain criteria are met, the process can be daunting — and very slow. It could take many months or even years to get approval.

There is a way to expedite the process though. If you have a severe medical condition that automatically meets the SSA’s definition of a disability, your application will be expedited through the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program. Because these conditions are so severe and often fatal, claims are allowed based on the diagnosis alone.

The list of Compassionate Allowances conditions is updated regularly. Updates are made based on advancements in medical knowledge and changes in medical practice. On August 14, 12 new conditions were added to the CAL program. These medical conditions, which include chromosome disorders,  tumors, and types of cancers, bring the total number of conditions in the program to 278.

The 12 conditions added to the list are:

  • 1p36 deletion syndrome
  • Anaplastic ependymoma
  • Calciphylaxis
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • FOXG1 syndrome
  • Leber congenital amaurosis
  • Metastatic endometrial adenocarcinoma
  • Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
  • Pineoblastoma — childhood
  • Primary omental cancer
  • Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung — stages II-IV
  • Trisomy 9

The CAL program has been very helpful for a large number of people. Nearly 900,000 people with severe disabilities get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits through the program. The program knocks down barriers to compensation, allowing those who are seriously or terminally ill to receive benefits quickly.

Doctors, researchers, and other medical experts work on the CAL program. They, along with advocacy groups, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and past public outreach hearings, provide input on the medical conditions that should be included on the Compassionate Allowances list.

What is on the CAL List?

The CAL list includes various cancers, genetic diseases, neurological disorders, and terminal illnesses. While conditions can be added or removed from the list, no condition has ever been removed.

Not all diseases on the CAL list are terminal. The SSA has a separate program for terminal illnesses called TERI. The diseases under this designation are likely to result in death.

The programs are similar in that they are meant to expedite SSDI claims. However, the TERI program is different in that it uses descriptors such as diagnosis of cancer, waiting for organ transplant, and receiving hospice care.

Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits

Getting SSDI benefits can be a daunting process, but things are easier if you have a medical condition that qualifies for a compassionate allowance.

Need help understanding your benefits? Let a White Plains Social Security Disability lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon assess your case and help you get all the benefits you are entitled to receive. Call (914) 228-1770 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation with our office.



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