The Social Security Administration's (SSA) compassionate allowances program is a great idea for the New England disabled. Who can argue with a system to speed up the disability application process?

Well, according to the Foster's Daily Democrat, Herbert Russell of Farmington, New Hampshire, is doing just that. Arguing. In a November 6, 2011 article, Russell tells his story.

Russell's daughter, Heather, fought her battle with stage IV small cell lung cancer bravely and continued to work at Home Depot until October 2009, even though the cancer had spread to her brain, neck, pelvis and adrenal glands. Her doctors finally insisted she stop working.

The SSA turned Heather down for benefits because they said she had done the paperwork incorrectly. She was approved finally in November 2009, but told she had to wait a mandatory five months to begin receiving benefits. Sadly, Heather died in April and never received that first check.

So, her father has taken up the battle with the Social Security Administration disability program. Many others have joined his protest of the five-month waiting period for the terminally ill. Even if the applicant qualifies for the compassionate allowance, the five-month waiting period remains.

Some legislators have unsuccessfully tried to get the waiting period changed since Heather's death. Currently, there is a bill the US House of Representatives, the "Social Security Fairness for the Terminally Ill Act of 2011." A bill like this would close loopholes for many seriously ill Americans.

If you or a loved one needs advice about applying for disability and the compassionate allowance program in New England, contact Keefe Disability Law toll free at 888-904-6847, or simply fill in the form on this page for a free case review. We serve many clients in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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