No matter how old you are, you can suffer an injury or illness that impacts your future and keeps you from doing your job. Many people in this position depend on Social Security Disability benefits to support themselves if they are unable to work. We often hear stories about how claims for SSD benefits take a long time to process and often get denied. Fortunately, there is one way to speed up the process for applicants with severe medical conditions.
Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are intended to make it easier for people with serious conditions that obviously qualify for SSD to get their benefits sooner. Through this designation, the Social Security Administration quickly identifies people with certain conditions and awards their benefits quickly.
There are specific conditions that are selected for CAL based on scientific research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), among other organizations. The SSA holds multiple public outreach hearings on various medical conditions to determine which ones should be selected for CAL. The SSA also considers which illnesses meet the current disability criteria. Some conditions currently on the list include a number of inoperable cancers, leukemia, traumatic brain injuries, schizophrenia, and cardiovascular disease.
While not everyone qualifies for SSD benefits under CAL, many people with severe illnesses will be saved from months of unnecessary waiting. The quicker these people can receive their benefits, the easier life will be for them and their families. To apply for CAL, you will need to go through the standard filing process for SSD benefits online or at your local office. The SSA will automatically expedite your application if you have a CAL condition.
Source: Social Security Administration, "Compassionate Allowances," accessed on June 12, 2017