Conditions That Qualify for the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances Program: Part 4

Some medical conditions are always so severe that a doctor’s diagnosis alone is enough to qualify an applicant for SSI/SSDI. The Social Security Administration (SSA) created the Compassionate Allowances program to allow people with these life-threatening conditions to get assistance fast. Our Massachusetts disability benefit attorneys provide a list of these conditions in our series of articles, “Conditions That Qualify for the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances Program” Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. This is Part 4 of that listing.

Malignant brain stem gliomas – childhood: A cancerous tumor in the brain stem that typically spreads throughout the nervous system. There is a low survival rate.

Malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor: A cancer of the digestive tract.

Malignant germ cell tumor: A cancer of the ovaries or testes.

Malignant melanoma – with metastases: A skin cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Malignant multiple sclerosis: A rapidly progressing form of multiple sclerosis.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL): A very rare cancer of the immune system with a low survival rate.

Maple syrup urine disease: A genetic metabolic disease in which the body is unable to process certain proteins. If untreated, the disease can cause seizures, coma, and death.

Mastocytosis – type IV: A rare and sometimes fatal disease in which too many mast cells cause skin legions, itching, digestive problems, severe allergic reactions, and other symptoms.

MECP2 duplication syndrome: A genetic mutation that affects boys almost exclusively. Symptoms include low muscle tone, feeding problems, seizures, difficulties with speech, and developmental delays.

Medulloblastoma ­– with metastases: A cancer of the brain that occurs in infants and children.

Menkes disease – classic or infantile onset form: A genetic disease that affects the body’s ability to absorb copper. It causes weak muscle tone, seizures, and developmental delays.

Merkel cell carcinoma – with metastases: A rare and aggressive skin cancer.

Merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy: A severe form of muscular dystrophy that affects children.

Metachromatic leukodystrophy – late infantile: A genetic disease that affects children and causes weakness, muscle rigidity, developmental delays, paralysis, and dementia.

Mitral valve atresia: A heart defect that occurs when the mitral valve does not develop properly.

Mixed dementias: A combination of two diagnoses, one of which must be dementia. To qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program, the patient must have lost cognitive or intellectual abilities in at least two areas.

MPS I (formerly known as Hurler syndrome): A genetic disease, also known as gargoylism, that is characterized by developmental delays and progressive physical problems. Those born with this condition often die by the age of 10.

MPS II (formerly known as Hunter syndrome): A genetic disease that affects only boys. It can be mild or severe. In the severe form there is progressive deterioration of the brain and body.

MPS III (formerly known as Sanfilippo syndrome): A form of MPS that usually begins between ages 2 and 6 and causes delayed development and deteriorating mental status.

Mucosal malignant melanoma: An aggressive cancer that usually affects the skin or mouth.

Multicentric Castleman disease:  A severe disease of the immune system that is similar to lymphoma.

Multiple system atrophy: A degenerative neurological disorder that affects movement, balance, and involuntary muscle control.

Myoclonic epilepsy with ragged-red fibers syndrome: A genetic form of epilepsy that causes muscle twitches, weakness, and stiffness.

Neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy: A fatal genetic disease that damages the brain and impairs the adrenal glands.

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis: A rare disease that occurs only in kidney patients exposed to gadolinium.

Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation – types 1 and 2: A rare genetic disorder in which iron accumulates in the brain and causes degeneration of the nervous system.

NFU-1 mitochondrial disease: A genetic disease characterized by weakness, respiratory failure, and lack of neurological development.

Niemann-Pick disease – types A and C: A fatal genetic disorder of the metabolic system.

Nonketotic hyperglycinemia:  An inherited disease in which the body is unable to break down certain amino acids. It can cause weak muscle tone, jerky movements, and developmental delays.

Non-small cell lung cancer – inoperable, unresectable, recurrent, or with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes: Late-stage lung cancer.

Obliterative bronchiolitis:  A rare and often fatal form of obstructive lung disease.

Ohtahara syndrome: A progressive form of epilepsy that causes seizures and severe developmental and intellectual disability.

Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency:  A genetic disease in which ammonia accumulates in the blood. It can cause seizures or coma.

Orthochromatic leukodystrophy with pigmented glia: A progressive disease of the brain that causes seizures, movement disorders, and dementia.

Osteogenesis imperfecta – type II:  A form of brittle bone disease in which the body does not make sufficient collagen. Most patients with this condition die of respiratory failure.

Osteosarcoma (formerly known as bone cancer) – inoperable, unresectable, or with distant metastases: Untreatable cancerous bone tumors.

Ovarian cancer – inoperable, unresectable, or with distant metastases: Late-stage cancer of the ovaries.

Pancreatic cancer: Cancer of the pancreas. Most patients die within five years of diagnosis.

Paraneoplastic pemphigus: An autoimmune disorder that causes blistering of the skin.

Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13): A genetic mutation that causes cleft palate, extra fingers, decreased muscle tone, severe mental retardation, and other symptoms.

Read Part 5

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