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By Nicole Tiggemann
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Special to The SUN
With the addition of 35 new Compassionate Allowances conditions involving cancers and rare diseases, there are now a total of 200 disabling conditions that qualify for Social Security’s expedited disability process.
The Compassionate Allowances initiative fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.
In addition to increasing the list of eligible conditions, the agency has achieved another milestone: Since October 2008, nearly 200,000 people with severe disabilities nationwide have been quickly approved using the expedited process.
Compassionate Allowances allow us to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.
Compassionate Allowances permit Social Security to target the most clearly disabled individuals for medical approvals based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Using the Compassionate Allowances criteria, most cases can be medically approved in less than two weeks. Compassionate Allowances conditions are added as a result of information received at public outreach hearings, comments from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, input from medical and scientific experts, and research from the National Institutes of Health. We also consider which conditions are most likely to meet our current definition of disability.
For more information about Compassionate Allowances, including a full list of qualifying conditions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.