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Compassionate Allowances Under Social Security Law

Joanow Legal Group July 3, 2019

When Pennsylvania residents apply for Social Security disability benefits, there are many details to be aware of. Even the smallest mistake can lead to a delay or even denial of benefits that are deserved. Because the Social Security Administration has created a specific list of impairments and medical conditions that qualify for each major system of the body, some may have to rely on exceptions called compassionate allowances to receive benefits.

According to Disabled World, the list of compassionate allowances was expanded several years ago to include conditions such as fibrolamellar cancer, superficial siderosis of the central nervous system and mega cystitis microcolon intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome. The list is intended to fast track and identify cases where applicants most likely to be approved for benefits because of their disease are fast-tracked through the system. The compassionate allowances program can take months and even years off the application process.

Many of the conditions on the compassionate allowances list are so severe that the application will be approved with just medical confirmation. The program helps the Social Security Administration to identify those who clearly meet the disability standard. The list includes almost 250 conditions including acute leukemia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and pancreatic cancer. Over 500,000 people have been approved for Social Security disability benefits through this program. Technology is used to make quick decisions about these extreme cases where benefits are needed immediately.

Electronic records transmission is also used to help streamline and simplify the process of applying for benefits. Because the process can be so complicated and frustrating, it may benefit an individual to speak to an attorney before filing an application to determine if it is a good idea to apply for a compassionate allowance exception.