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Social Security Disability | Compassionate Allowances

To qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) payments, people must demonstrate that they have a disabling medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or to result in death.

Unfortunately, for those who must fight an uphill battle to demonstrate the severity of their medical conditions, obtaining SSD benefits can take months or even years. But not all disabled individuals have that kind of time. For this reason, the Social Security Administration (SSA) launched the Compassionate Allowances program.

If you would like to learn more about this program and how it may be used in your case, contact attorney Frank M. Eidson. Our firm provides personalized representation to clients throughout Orlando, Winter Park and surrounding areas in Florida. Call or contact us online today and receive a free consultation.

What Are Compassionate Allowances?

Compassionate Allowances (CALs) are used to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that are so severe that they will clearly prevent the patient from working for at least a year or will result in the patient’s death.

By moving quickly to approve the applications of the most severely ill or injured applicants, the SSA’s goal is to improve quality of life for those who are most clearly disabled.

The Compassionate Allowances program is part of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. You do not have to begin a separate application to seek a compassionate allowance.

What Conditions Qualify for a Compassionate Allowance?

The list of Compassionate Allowances conditions expands every year. Conditions that frequently appear on the list include:

  • Many types of cancer
  • Severe heart and lung conditions
  • Brain conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and developmental disorders.

The SSA also holds hearings periodically to discuss whether a new condition or set of conditions should be added to the Compassionate Allowances list. Conditions that have been discussed at past hearings include:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Multiple organ transplants
  • Dementia
  • Brain injuries
  • Stroke.

How Long Does a Compassionate Allowances Determination Take?

Although the amount of time for the SSA to reach a decision varies, the agency states that a CAL decision often is reached in a few weeks rather than in “months or years.” Factors that affect the speed of the decision include:

  • How quickly the SSA obtains medical evidence from doctors
  • Whether the SSA decides a medical examination is needed.

By using the Compassionate Allowances program, the SSA needs only minimal medical information establishing that the applicant has the condition in question. Information about work and education history is frequently not needed to make a CAL determination.

Will I Receive Additional Money if I Have a CAL Condition?

Currently, being diagnosed with a CAL condition does not change the amount of support to which a person is entitled under Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income rules. Instead, benefits are based on your level of income and other assets, just as they are for non-CAL conditions. CAL does not change what benefits you may receive. It just speeds up the process of getting a decision.

Learn About Compassionate Allowances from an Orlando SSD Benefits Attorney

The law firm of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., is dedicated to helping disabled individuals obtain benefits, especially when a daunting medical condition is severely harming their quality of life. Let us help you pursue the help you need and the peace of mind you deserve in a tough time. Contact us today to learn more about the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program.

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