In 2008, the Social Security Administration began the Compassionate Allowance Initiative. In the beginning, the Compassionate Allowance program included 50 medical conditions. Since then, the program has grown and it now allows people with hundreds of conditions to get Social Security disability benefits faster than people with medical conditions that are not included on the Compassionate Allowances List.
What Is the Compassionate Allowances Initiative?
The goal of the Compassionate Allowances Initiative is to fast-track certain Social Security applications that will likely be approved due to the severity of the applicants’ conditions. The program benefits the Social Security Administration by flagging applications where people present with serious conditions, and it benefits individual applicants by shortening their typical wait times for benefits.
2020 Additions to the Compassionate Allowances List
In August 2020, the Social Security Administration added five new conditions to the Compassionate Allowances List. These conditions include:
- Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors (DSRCT). This condition was first identified in 1989. It most commonly impacts males under the age of 50. People diagnosed with DSRCT have aggressive tumors that develop in their abdominal cavities. The median survival time is 17-25 months and fewer than 20% of people diagnosed with DSRCT survive more than five years.
- Nicolaides-Baraister Syndrome (NCBRS). People with this rare condition have intellectual disabilities and often have seizures and distinctive physical features such as sparse hair, short fingers and toes, and prominent finger and toe joints.
- Rubinstein-Tybai Syndrome (RSTS). This genetic condition typically results in broad thumbs and toes, some degree of intellectual disability, short stature, and distinctive facial features.
- Secondary Adenocarcinoma of the Brain. A secondary adenocarcinoma of the brain happens when cancerous cells from a tumor in another organ spread to the brain and cause a brain lesion. Typically, people with secondary adenocarcinoma of the brain have a poor prognosis and may suffer from headaches, seizures, cognitive decline, speech problems, vision issues, numbness, and weakness before their deaths.
- GM1 Gangliosidosis – Infantile and Juvenile Forms. This is an inherited condition that destroys nerve cells in the brain and spine.
These conditions join the hundreds of other conditions already included on the Compassionate Allowances List.
How are Conditions Added to the Compassionate Allowances List?
Many people with rare and serious medical conditions want their illness added to the list. Anyone can suggest a condition for inclusion on the Compassionate Allowances List. Once a suggestion is submitted, the Social Security Administration considers:
- Public information and comments, including from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities and previous public outreach hearings about potential Compassionate Allowances conditions
- The opinions of medical and scientific experts
- Research from the National Institutes of Health
Together, all of this information will help the Social Security Administration decide whether or not to include a specific condition on the Compassionate Allowances List.
Why You Need a Social Security Disability Lawyer If Your Condition Is on the Compassionate Allowances List
If you have a condition that is included on the Compassionate Allowances list, then your Social Security disability application should be fast-tracked. However, you are not automatically eligible for benefits.
You still have to prove your eligibility. That begins by submitting a complete and accurate Social Security disability application that doesn’t give the disability examiner any reason to question your eligibility.
Our experienced Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyers can help you. We don’t have any hourly fees, and you can hire us without financial risk. Our lawyers always offer a free consultation to potential clients in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire. If you prefer, we can conduct your first consultation over the phone so that you don’t have to come to our Natick office. We know that it can be difficult and often painful to travel with a disability, and we are equipped to represent you without you leaving the comfort of your home.
To learn more, please call us, start a live chat with us, or complete our online contact form to have us contact you as soon as possible.