Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a lengthy, time-consuming process, with average waits times anywhere from three to five months from the date you submit your application to the date you receive a decision letter. Depending on the workload of the Social Security Administration (SSA)field office handling your claim, whether the SSA needs additional information to process your claim, and how long it takes physicians to submit your medical records, these wait times can be even longer – sometimes up to a year.

For some applicants, however, even a month-long wait is too long. In response to these situations, the SSA created Compassionate Allowances, a fast track to SSD benefits that helps to expedite the applications of those with the most debilitating conditions so that they receive benefits sooner, rather than later.

Medical conditions that qualify as compassionate allowances

Compassionate Allowances are a list of medical conditions that the SSA considers so severe, and so clearly disabling, that eligibility for SSD benefits is a near certainty. There are currently 228 medical conditions included on the compassionate allowances list, primarily certain types of cancer, brain disorders, and rare disorders that affect children. They include:

  • Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma;
  • Adult Onset Huntington Disease;
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease);
  • Aplastic Anemia;
  • Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease;
  • Esophageal Cancer;
  • Ewing Sarcoma;
  • Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Cancer);
  • Heart Transplant Waitlist;
  • Lewy Body Dementia;
  • Liver Cancer, and;
  • Pancreatic Cancer.

The SSA frequently adds to the list, and solicits input from the public, medical community, and disability determination officers about medical conditions that should be included; the SSA also takes recommendations online.

Applying for a compassionate allowance

Applying for SSD benefits under a compassionate allowance is the same as applying under the normal procedures. You can complete the benefits application online, at your local SSA field office, or over the telephone. Disability examiners, aided by technology, can quickly identify those SSD applications that qualify under a compassionate allowance and begin processing them immediately.

Need help with your SSD application? Contact our office today by completing this online form or calling #(847) 577-4476 .