It is no secret that applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a long and often frustrating process. Because of the high rate of fraudulent applications, agents at the Social Security Administration are diligent about scrutinizing applicants, evaluating their conditions and examining their claims. The SSA denies the claims of many first-time applicants.
Months may pass between the time an applicant files for benefits and the time when that applicant received word that the SSA has accepted or denied the application. If you are suffering from certain medical conditions, you may not have that kind of time, and the SSA understands this. In response, it has established a list of conditions that can place you on the fast track for the processing of your claim.
Compassionate allowances speed up the process
When you apply for disability benefits through Social Security, special software will flag your application if your reason for applying includes one of the 230 conditions that qualify for the Compassionate Allowance program. In some cases, applying under one of these conditions can result in receiving a decision about your application for benefits within a few days, instead of waiting months for an answer. Some of the CAL conditions include the following:
- Aggressive cancers, such as Merkel Cell Carcinoma or advanced malignant mesothelioma
- Diseases that affect your immune system
- Neurodegenerative diseases such as early-onset Alzheimer’s or ALS
- Rare genetic diseases like Pallister-Killian Syndrome
- Certain heart and brain conditions or injuries
The SSA understands that any of these conditions may hasten the end of your life. If your application indicates that your diagnosis is terminal or your condition will cause an extreme hardship, such as homelessness or loss of a limb, you may receive an expedited decision about your application. For example, if your cancer has metastasized or if your Missouri doctor has recommended hospice care for you, the SSA will likely speed up your application process.
While you may still have to wait the prescribed five months before receiving your benefits, speeding up the application process can make a difference in the total time you wait. This can allow you some peace of mind while you deal with your illness. If you need assistance at any time during the process, or if your claim for disability benefits was denied, you have the right to reach out for help from a legal professional who can evaluate your case and help you take the most appropriate actions.