October 23, 2009

Compassionate Allowances for Social Security Disability Benefits

handicap[1].JPGMany Indiana Social Security disability claimants endure a long drawn out process while trying to obtain beneftis.  The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) backlog of claims may cause hardship to many families. 

In 2007,  Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue announced the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance initiative.  Compassionate allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the SSA’s Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate allowances permit the SSA to quickly identify the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that the SSA can obtain quickly.  The SSA has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet disability standards.   This initiative speeds up the application process for Social Security disability applicants with any of 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers whose medical conditions are very severe. These 50 conditions were selected for the initiative’s rollout. This list may expand over time.

Commissioner Astrue has held four Compassionate Allowance public outreach hearings since 2007. The purpose of these hearings were to obtain the public’s views about how to implement Compassionate Allowances for children and adults with rare diseases.  These previous public outreach hearings were on:

  • rare diseases
  • cancers
  • traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke, 
  • early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias

The Commissioner is scheduled to hold the fifth public outreach hearing on schizophrenia in November 2009.

Additional information about how compassionate allowances are processed may be found on the Social Security Administrations website

Indianapolis Social Security Disability Attorney Scott D. Lewis believes that the SSA’s compassionate allowances initiative may greatly benefit people with certain rare diseases. If you are a claimant with a rare disease and believe that you may qualify for the compassionate allowance or believe that you qualify for another impairment, contact Attorney Scott Lewis for a free consultation at (317) 423-8888.

 

Filed under:Social Security Disability Benefits
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