SSA Adds New Conditions to Compassionate Allowances

Submitted by Daniel on

One of the first things people learn after they become disabled is that once you lose your job, it is an uphill struggle to find another one. Therefore, people with chronic illnesses or disabling conditions try to keep working for as long as possible. They know how much their medical bills are, and they know how devastating it would be to lose the medical benefits they have at work. However, at some point people may lose their jobs regardless of how hard they try to keep them. They may be downsized or they may simply become too sick to continue working.

At this point, many people turn to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for help in the form of disability benefits. To their dismay, many people find that they have to go through a lengthy application and disability evaluation process and that many times their applications are rejected multiple times. The wait can prove to be too long – some people die before they receive any help.

The SSA recognizes the backlog in the disability approval process. To help ease the situation for those who are gravely ill, the SSA maintains a list of conditions and diseases that are assumed to be disabling conditions that meet Social Security’s standards for disability. Called “compassionate allowances,” these disabling or life-threatening conditions clearly qualify a person for an automatic approval for disability benefits.

The original list of 50 qualifying conditions was expanded in February, 2010 to include 38 others. Some are rare, such as Patau Syndrome or Wolman Disease, while others are more common, such as early onset Alzheimer’s and many cancers. This is the list of the new compassionate allowances, as reported in the Senior Journal earlier this year:

  1. Alstrom Syndrome
  2. Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
  3. Ataxia Spinocerebellar
  4. Ataxia Telangiectasia
  5. Batten Disease
  6. Bilateral Retinoblastoma
  7. Cri du Chat Syndrome
  8. Degos Disease
  9. Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
  10. Edwards Syndrome
  11. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
  12. Fukuyama Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
  13. Glutaric Acidemia Type II
  14. Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), Familial Type
  15. Hurler Syndrome, Type IH
  16. Hunter Syndrome, Type II
  17. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  18. Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa, Lethal Type
  19. Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
  20. Leigh’s Disease
  21. Maple Syrup Urine Disease
  22. Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
  23. Mixed Dementia
  24. Mucosal Malignant Melanoma
  25. Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy
  26. Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses, Infantile Type
  27. Niemann-Pick Type C
  28. Patau Syndrome
  29. Primary Progressive Aphasia
  30. Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
  31. Sanfilippo Syndrome
  32. Subacute Sclerosis Panencephalitis
  33. Tay Sachs Disease
  34. Thanatophoric Dysplasia, Type 1
  35. Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
  36. Walker Warburg Syndrome
  37. Wolman Disease
  38. Zellweger Syndrome

The original 50 compassionate allowance conditions can be seen on the Social Security website. If you or a loved one has any of these conditions, be sure to note on your application both your condition and the fact that it falls under the compassionate allowance rules. You can direct your SSA contact to the relevant section of the Social Security website that contains procedures for your SSA contact to follow in processing your particular compassionate allowance disability claim.

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