In August 2021, the acting Social Security Administration Commissioner added 12 new medical conditions to the agency’s Compassionate Allowances program. This was the largest addition to the list in several years. In 2020, five new conditions became Compassionate Allowances, and in 2019, four Compassionate Allowances Program Paperwork From the Social Security Administrationconditions were added to the list. When the program began in 2008, there were only 50 conditions that were considered Compassionate Allowances. Now, there are 254 medical conditions included in the program.

If you are seeking Social Security disability benefits, it’s essential to know if your condition is included in the Compassionate Allowances program, what inclusion may mean for you, and whether you may benefit from speaking with an experienced Boston area Social Security disability attorney.

12 New Conditions Join 242 Others on the Compassionate Allowances List

The 12 new illnesses that are now part of the Compassionate Allowances program include:

  • Charlevoix Saguenay Spastic Ataxia (ARSACS). ARSACS affects muscle movement. People with this condition may have muscle spasticity, issues with balance and coordination, and weakness in the arms and legs. Additionally, they may suffer from eye problems, hearing loss, difficulty swallowing, seizures, and other medical issues.
  • Choroid Plexus Carcinoma. This cancer is a rare form of brain tumor.
  • CIC-rearranged Sarcoma. A CIC-rearranged sarcoma is a very rare but very aggressive group of soft tissue tumors.
  • Congenital Zika Syndrome. This condition may be suffered by children born to mothers who had the Zika virus during pregnancy. People with this condition may suffer a partial collapse of the skull, decreased brain tissue with brain damage, damage to the back of the eye, congenital contractures, and hypertonia.
  • Desmoplastic Mesothelioma. Desmoplastic means that fibrous or connective tissue is growing. This condition is a rare and often deadly subtype of diffuse malignant mesothelioma.
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) – Adult. DMD is a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness because of alterations of a protein known as dystrophin.
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma. This kind of mesothelioma is rare. It forms in the lining around the heart and may be caused by asbestos exposure, like other forms of mesothelioma.
  • Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma. Refractory Hodgkin lymphoma means that the cancer is not responding to treatment.
  • Renpenning’s Syndrome. This disorder typically affects males causing developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and distinctive physical attributes.
  • SCN8A Related Epilepsy with Encephalopathy. SCN8A-related epilepsy with encephalopathy is another genetic condition. This condition causes abnormal brain function, seizures, and intellectual disability.
  • SYNGAP1-related NSID. The first human case of this still rare condition was reported in 2009. SYNGAP1-related NSID causes intellectual disability and may also cause other medical issues.
  • Taybi-Linder Syndrome. Taybi-Linder syndrome is a rare disorder that is also known as microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism types I and III. People with this condition often suffer growth retardation, bone dysplasia, and central nervous system malformations.

These conditions join 242 other conditions that range from some types of cancer to neurological conditions to rare diseases.

How the Compassionate Allowances Program Works

Anyone with one of the 254 medical conditions included in the Compassionate Allowances program may qualify for an expedited eligibility decision about their Social Security disability application.

The Compassionate Allowances program accelerates the application process, but approval is not automatic. The program’s goal is to reduce waiting time for people with severe conditions.

Therefore, you must still file an initial Social Security disability application with the Social Security Administration. The agency will review your application, flag it for expedited review, and decide whether you are eligible for benefits.

You Don’t Have to Navigate the Social Security Disability Process Alone

The Social Security disability application process is complex. Your application may be denied if you make a mistake on your application, even if your condition is included on the Compassionate Allowances list.

Accordingly, we encourage you to contact an experienced Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyer for a free consultation. Our attorneys represent Social Security disability applicants throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Call us or contact us through this website today to learn more.

Additionally, we invite you to download a free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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