June 16, 2017
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that some conditions are so severe that they always qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Here, the Social Security experts at Disability Associates explain how compassionate allowances work, and how they may expedite your claim.
What are Compassionate Allowances?
Compassionate allowances are conditions that always result in severe disability, for which the SSA may expedite the benefits process. These conditions are found on a master list by clicking the link here. There are over 200 conditions on the compassionate allowances list, including many cancers, congenital diseases, rare conditions and dementia. The SSA updates the list periodically, if they determine a condition meets the requirements.
How Does the Application Process Work?
Compassionate allowances are determined by the SSA, not the applicant—there is no separate compassionate allowances form to fill out, although applicants may write “compassionate allowance claim” at the top of their Social Security Disability Benefits application. The SSA needs minimal objective information to process compassionate allowance claims, due to the severity of the conditions, so the allegations of the applicant, or parent of a minor applicant, are essentially enough to begin processing the claim.
What Medical Evidence is Required?
In other Social Security Disability Benefits cases, the SSA requires extensive information about the condition, its effects and its impact on the ability to work. Due to the nature of the conditions that are considered compassionate allowances, all that is needed is proof of diagnosis—in the case of liver cancer, for example, a biopsy report, coupled with a hospital discharge summary or doctor’s letter, can be sufficient to prove the condition exists.
Unfortunately, hospitals and doctors can become seriously backlogged, taking weeks or even months to send the appropriate documentation to the Disability Determination Services agency (DDS). To further expedite the process, it is prudent to have your Social Security benefits attorney send the appropriate documentation alongside your application to the SSA, or send the documentation directly to the DDS.
How Quickly are Compassionate Allowances Decided?
Compassionate allowances are usually decided within days of documentation and application being processed, as opposed to the months-long process to which regular disability claims can amount. Unfortunately, federal law dictates that Social Security Disability Benefits waiting times must be no less than five months, so approved applicants will not see benefits until this period has elapsed, regardless of their compassionate allowance status. Regardless, having a compassionate allowance condition does expedite the process of receiving benefits, cutting waiting times by months or even years.
How Else Can I Expedite My Disability Claim?
A legal representative experienced in Social Security Disability claims can help to speed up the process of receiving benefits exponentially. At Disability Associates, we work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the benefits they need and deserve as quickly as possible. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, we urge you to contact us today.