Social Security Adds Five Impairments to its Compassionate Allowances Program

October 9, 2018

The Deputy Commissioner of Operations for Social Security (SSA), Nancy Berryhill, recently announced that the agency is adding five conditions to its Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program. The Compassionate Allowances program provides for fast-track disability consideration for people with certain serious and/or life-threatening medical conditions. The objective under CAL is that Americans with certain severe medical conditions are fast-tracked and can receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.

The five new health conditions added to CAL are:

  • Fibrolamellar Cancer
  • Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS)
  • Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome (MCAP)
  • Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System
  • Tetrasomy 18p

There are now more than 230 medical conditions on the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances List. (For a complete list of conditions on the Compassionate Allowances List click here.)

For most Social Security disability claims, the claimant must prove that their impairment prevents them engaging in gainful employment. However, the Social Security Administration says, “Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children. The CAL initiative helps us reduce waiting time to reach a disability determination for individuals with the most serious disabilities.” So far, more than 500,000 people with serious disabilities have been approved for benefits under the CAL program.

In announcing the newly added conditions, Berryhill said in a press release, “For nearly a decade, the Compassionate Allowances List has helped us identify and fast-track cases where individuals have diseases that are most likely to be approved for disability benefits. Social Security is committed to ensuring Americans with qualifying disabilities quickly receive the benefits they need.”

Our experience has shown that despite the SSA’s best intentions, the path to obtaining benefits—even under the Compassionate Allowances program—can be complex and tricky to navigate. And most cases do not meet the strict criteria of the Compassionate Allowance program. If you believe you have an impairment that qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits, call our office at 312.579.0198 or email us through our website to arrange a free evaluation of your situation.