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What are compassionate allowances in SSDI?

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Navigating the landscape of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be complex. Among the many facets of this program, one that often receives attention is compassionate allowances. This provision in the SSDI program provides expedited consideration for people with severe disabilities.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that some conditions are so serious they invariably meet disability standards. To meet the needs of those who have these conditions, the SSA created the Compassionate Allowance program.

The basics

Compassionate allowances allow the SSA to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that meet the definition of disability according to the Social Security Act. These conditions are so severe they invariably qualify for SSDI benefits.

There are hundreds of conditions recognized by the SSA for compassionate allowances, such as:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Acute leukemia
  • Malignant germ cell tumor
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pompe disease

The SSA continually updates this list as they identify more conditions that meet their criteria.

The benefits

One of the primary benefits of compassionate allowances is a significantly reduced waiting time for SSDI benefits. Normally, it can take months or even years for the SSA to process a disability claim. However, with compassionate allowances, the SSA can approve claims in a matter of weeks.

It is also important to note that people who qualify for a compassionate allowance are not subject to any special application process or additional fees. The SSA automatically identifies applicants who qualify based on the medical information provided in their application.

Compassionate allowances under the SSDI program offer expedited processing of disability claims for individuals with severe medical conditions. They provide much-needed assistance to individuals at a time when speed is of the essence. Compassionate allowances, thus, are a critical component of the SSDI program, ensuring swift support for those who need it most.