Question of the Month: What is a Compassionate Allowance?

September 4, 2020

One of the persistent complaints about Social Security disability is that the process in determining eligibility is long and drawn out. In attempt to address this complaint, the Social Security Administration has developed the Compassionate Allowances program for disabled workers who have medical conditions that are so serious that it’s plainly obvious they would qualify for benefits. Under this program, called “CAL” for short, Social Security fast-tracks disability determinations to certain qualified applicants. The average processing time for Social Security to process a Compassionate Allowance case is 19 days, and it is possible to receive a decision awarding benefits in as little as ten days after filing an application.

This program only applies to a narrow list of severe impairments. For example, a person can qualify for a Compassionate Allowance if they can document they have inoperable cancer which cannot be completely removed, or has spread to other parts of their body. Other conditions which may be eligible for Compassionate Allowance consideration include ALS, some types of muscular dystrophy and muscular atrophy, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, certain adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.

While Compassionate Allowances can mean a faster disability determination, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries, for the most part, still have to wait five months after their disability onset date to begin receiving benefits and 24 months after their onset date before Medicare benefits kick in.

If you believe your disability claim should be fast tracked under the CAL provisions call or email us at Nash Disability Law without delay. We will give you a free evaluation of your situation. Together we can discuss whether or not your claim qualifies under Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance regulations, or if not, if you may qualify under the program’s many other disability guidelines.