SSA Expands Compassionate Allowance Listings

Submitted by Kyle on

Some individuals who are diagnosed with severe medical conditions and disabilities are eligible for the Social Security Compassionate Allowances program which includes a variety of Compassionate Allowances Listings that qualify for faster approval of disability benefits. The Social Security Administration provides government employees and Social Security recipients with a complete list of "approved" medical impairments that allow a Social Security Disability application to be eligible under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Compassionate Allowance Listings

As of summer 2011, twelve new disabling conditions were added to the Compassionate Allowances List, which now numbers 100. A sampling of conditions approved for the list include but are not limited to most types of cancers, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, early onset Alzheimer's disease, individuals on a heart transplant waiting lists, a variety of heart conditions, spinal conditions including spinal muscular atrophy, and infantile type Tay-Sachs disease.

In order to determine whether or not a Social Security Disability applicant qualifies for claim processing under the compassionate allowances guidelines, the applicant must fill out a Quick Disability Determination (QDD) form for the specific disease. For example, in order to qualify for a quick disability determination an individual(s):

  • Must be disabled
  • The claimant's condition must be able to be quickly and easily verified
  • The case must be able to be processed quickly by the disability determination services

According to their Code of Federal Regulations, the process followed by the Social Security Administration states that a person must, in part, "Have a medical or psychological consultant verify that the medical evidence in the file is sufficient to determine that, as of the alleged onset date, the individual's physical or mental impairment(s) meets the standards we establish for making quick disability determinations…" (Federal Code 416 .1019)

How Determinations of Disabilities are Processed

In qualifying a Social Security Disability applicant for quick disability (QDD) processing, the Social Security Administration offers a variety of sections within federal guidelines that define the processes involved in making such a determination for each of the 100 Compassionate Allowance Listings.

For example, DI23022.125 - Breast Cancer, lists guidelines and required information in order to be eligible for the compassionate allowance. In such a case, the description of the condition and alternate names of the condition must be included, as well as completion of specific diagnostic testing approaches and appropriate medical coding of conditions. The same goes for the type of treatments that the applicant receives. For example, allowed treatments for breast cancer include chemotherapy and radiation treatments, hormone therapy, and/or surgery.

Information must also define progression of the condition, expected prognosis, and a suggested programmatic assessment that meets the specific CAL listing requirements, which are called medical equals in regard to description, diagnosis and prognosis.

The Office of Disability Programs examines each disability claim that is made under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Adjudicators are encouraged to use the medical evidence of record as well as Compassionate Allowance Listings to evaluate each and every claim. The decision to allow or deny claims also rests on the shoulders of the adjudicator who is in charge of reviewing the file.

Individuals who are seeking additional information regarding the Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowances Listings can access the Compassionate Allowances Listings page on our site for a complete list, with detailed information regarding each condition and information regarding the processing of compassionate allowances including information regarding how to apply.

If you suffer from a condition that qualifies under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances Guidelines, you may wish to consult a Social Security Disability attorney in order to increase your chances of being awarded benefits more quickly under these guidelines. If you fill out a request for a free disability evaluation, you will be contacted by an attorney who will be able to tell you whether or not you are likely to qualify for benefits.