As we have mentioned before on our Minneapolis Social Security disability blog, workers who suffer from mentally or physically disabling or terminal illnesses, disorders and injuries may be entitled to obtain Social Security disability benefits.
But, as we have also mentioned, obtaining benefits can be a lengthy and complicated process. When an individual suffers from a life-threatening or severely disabling condition, folks often don't have months or years to wait for their benefits to be approved. The Social Security Administration recognizes this fact, and as a result, some disabled folks may be able to apply for benefits under the Compassionate Allowances program.
The Compassionate Allowances program approves disability benefits through an expedited process. Folks who suffer from conditions that are listed under this program may be able to have their benefits approved within days of submitting their applications. Last week, the program was expanded. Now 200 disabling diseases and conditions are listed under the Compassionate Allowances program.
On Dec. 6, the SSA announced that 35 conditions have been added to the existing list of Compassionate Allowances. All of the conditions are severe. Some conditions added to the program last week include:
- Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Fatal Familial Insomnia
- Malignant Germ Cell Tumor
- Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia
- Roberts Syndrome
- Transplant Coronary Artery Vasculopathy
The Compassionate Allowances program is fairly new. It was started in October 2008, and since then, the list of conditions that make folks eligible to fast-track their disability applications has grown significantly. Many listed conditions are rare or life-threatening illnesses.
At least 200,000 disability applications have been approved through this expedited process since the program first started, the SSA claims. Although benefits may be approved within days or a couple of weeks, many folks still consult an attorney when applying for disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowances program in order to ensure their applications are filed correctly and reviewed immediately.
Source: The Associated Press, "Social Security disability claims will be sped up by program's expansion," Dec. 5, 2012