Many disabled people needing government assistance have to wait up to three years to qualify for New England Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. But not everyone can wait that long.

Why the SSA Created Compassionate Allowances Program

This knowledge prompted the SSA to come up with a fast-track system for people whose medical conditions are so serious that they obviously qualify for SSA disability. Three years ago the SSA announced a new initiative to help speed up the disability application process. The compassionate allowances (CAL) program began with 50 conditions that included 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers.

The original goal was to fast-track up to 250,000 disability claims in an astounding six to eight days. Michael Astrue, SSA disability commissioner said at the time, "The launch of compassionate allowances is another step to ensuring Americans with disabilities, especially those with cancer and rare diseases, get the benefits they need quickly."

Since that time, the number of CAL conditions has grown to 100, with the last 12 added July 2011. And remarkably, it is possible to be approved within a week. The first thing for any SSA disability applicant to find out is if his or her condition is one of the 100 included on the Compassionate Allowances listings on the SSA website.

Facts About Compassionate Allowances Program

Here is a simple list of facts about how the compassionate allowances program works:

  • You must be diagnosed with a condition on the CAL listing of conditions.
  • You must be an insured worker (SSDI) or meet certain income qualifications (SSI).
  • The Quick Disability Determination process was developed at the same time as CAL and helps speed your claim.
  • When you apply for SSA disability benefits, a computer program finds information in your application that targets you for compassionate allowances. 
  • You still need to file an initial disability application to the SSA.

If you have been diagnosed with a condition that is serious, prevents you from working, and requires constant medical treatment, you may qualify more quickly than others. To find your way through the complicated disability application process, it is a good idea to hire a Social Security disability specialist to help you.

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