What Compassionate Allowances Qualify for Disability Benefits?

If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration, also known as the SSA, manages both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify for either kind of disability benefits, you must meet specific medical criteria for your condition, and you must show that your condition will last a year or longer or that it will result in your death.

While there are many ways you can meet the criteria to be approved for Social Security disability benefits, there are some conditions that are considered so serious or debilitating that a confirmed diagnosis will guarantee automatic approval for Social Security disability benefits. Though there are many other listings in the Blue Book that can result in approval, there are some that will get approved automatically.

Compassionate Allowances List

There are some injuries or conditions that are very serious, so they are on the Compassionate Allowances List (CAL), which means that as long as you can provide proof of your diagnosis, you can be approved for disability benefits. Here are some of the conditions that will warrant automatic disability benefits:

  • Stage IV breast cancer
  • Acute leukemia
  • Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma

Any of these medical conditions will result in your disability claim being expedited, which means it will be processed much more quickly. That is as close to automatic approval as one can get, and it means that your claim will be reviewed quickly and that you will start getting your disability benefits much faster than you would with a traditional claim where you must prove your disability and you must show that your condition is severe enough to cause extreme limitations.

What Conditions Automatically Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Conditions That Warrant Approval with Confirmation by Medical Records

There are some medical conditions that will be approved for disability benefits if you can prove that these conditions exist or that you are suffering from them just by your medical records. Some of those conditions include:

  • Cochlear transplant
  • Lung transplant
  • Kidney transplant
  • Heart transplant
  • Liver transplant

For those five disabilities, the case will be reviewed again by Disability Determination Services at the end of a year, or for a lung transplant, at the conclusion of three years, to determine if you still qualify for disability benefits based on SSA guidelines.

Documentation and Records

To have a successful claim, even if you have a condition that warrants automatic approval, you must provide supporting documentation, specifically supporting medical records. With the proper medical evidence to confirm the diagnosis and the limitations, Disability Determination Services can confirm that you do have the specific condition and you are unable to work.

The Application Process

You can start your disability claim online at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213 and talking to a representative or by scheduling an appointment at an SSA office near you.

Additional Resources