What are compassionate allowances?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) details dozens of conditions in the impairment listing manual or “Blue Book,” as it’s commonly referred to. Claimants who meet the criteria spelled out in the Blue Book are typically awarded benefits through the Social Security Disability application process.

Many people don’t realize, however, that there are more than 200 compassionate allowance listings. In addition to the Blue Book conditions, disabled individuals may qualify for a compassionate allowance in order to receive benefits. A knowledgeable SSDI benefits lawyer can investigate your situation and provide the legal guidance you need.

In response to an overwhelming backlog of applications and the desire to help severely disabled individuals receive the benefits they needed, the SSA implemented the Compassionate Allowance initiative. If an individual meets the criteria for the disabling medical conditions in the Compassionate Allowances program, he or she might be able to take advantage of expedited handling of the benefit claim. According to the SSA, expedited handling could allow claimants to receive SSD benefits after several weeks.

Created in 2008, the original Compassionate Allowance listed 50 conditions. Now, considerations are made for more than 200 conditions, including:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Adrenal cancer
  • Breast cancer (inoperable, unresectable or with distant metastases)
  • Child non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Heart transplant graft failure
  • Pancreatic cancer

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a disabling condition, it is crucial that you understand your legal options for government benefits. A knowledgeable Social Security Disability benefits lawyer can provide the information and legal guidance you need.

Source: Social Security Disability Help, “Compassionate Allowances.” Accessed 1/5/2015.