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SSA Expands Compassionate Allowances Program for Severely Disabled

The SSA has announced 12 new eligible conditions for its Compassionate Allowances program.

Compassionate Allowances is an initiative that quickly identifies severe medical conditions and diseases that meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.

“Everyone who is eligible for benefits under the programs we administer should receive them,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “Our Compassionate Allowances program helps us address barriers by helping accelerate the disability application process for people who are likely to get approved for benefits due to the severity of their medical condition.”

The 12 new conditions are:

  1. Charlevoix Saguenay Spastic Ataxia (ARSACS)
  2. Choroid Plexus Carcinoma
  3. CIC-rearranged Sarcoma
  4. Congenital Zika Syndrome
  5. Desmoplastic Mesothelioma
  6. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – Adult
  7. Pericardial Mesothelioma
  8. Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma
  9. Renpenning Syndrome
  10. SCN8A Related Epilepsy with Encephalopathy
  11. SYNGAP1-related NSID
  12. Taybi-Linder Syndrome

The Compassionate Allowances program quickly identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone; for example, certain cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and a number of rare disorders that affect children.

To date, more than 700,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this accelerated, policy-compliant disability process, which has grown to a total of 254 conditions.

When a person applies for disability benefits, Social Security must obtain medical records in order to make an accurate determination. The agency incorporates leading technology to identify potential Compassionate Allowances cases and make quick decisions.

Social Security’s Health IT brings the speed and efficiency of electronic medical records to the disability determination process. With electronic records transmission, Social Security is able to quickly obtain a claimant’s medical information, review it, and make a fast determination.