If you have a disability that is serious enough, you may qualify for social security disability benefits. You will first need to file an application with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The agency will then review the application and see if you meet the requirements. A decision will then be made regarding your claim of being disabled. All of this can take quite some time, sometimes more than six months.
In 2008, the Compassionate Allowances program was launched by SSA. This program seeks to trim down the processing time for such applicants who have particularly severe disabilities. The aim is to provide disability benefits to these applicants without making them go through the long wait.
The great thing about this program is that if you meet the requirements, you can start receiving disability benefits in as little as a few weeks. This is in contrast to standard SSA disability benefits applications which can take many months to get sorted.
Conditions Covered by the Compassionate Allowances
SSA maintains a list of conditions that are covered under the Compassionate Allowances program. This list contains nearly 250 conditions. Most of these conditions are severe enough to prevent you from resuming work or living a normal life. Many of the listed conditions are likely to result in death.
Some of the conditions included on this list are:
- Acute Leukemia
- Adrenal Cancer
- Alpers Disease
- Alstrom Syndrome
- Batten Disease
- Canavan Disease
- Dravet Syndrome
- Breast Cancer
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Esophageal Cancer
SSA continues to expand this list to include disabilities which are particularly severe. If your condition is not covered by the list but you think it is severe enough, you can actually get in touch with SSA. It is possible to request the SSA to consider a given condition for inclusion on the list through an online request form submitted on the SSA website.
Qualifying for Compassionate Allowances
The first condition to qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program is to have your disability on the SSA’s list. However, even if your condition is already listed, you need to meet other requirements as well.
For each of the listed conditions, SSA has laid out other detailed specifications. These pertain to the nature, stage, progression, and other aspects of the medical condition. In the case of several types of cancers, for instance, a claim qualifies for the Compassionate Allowances only when cancer has entered an advanced stage.
So you must meet these condition-specific requirements as well in order to be eligible for the expedited application processing under the program.
How Are Compassionate Allowances Claims Processed?
SSA uses a process known as the Quick Disability Determination (QDD) to identify and shortlist the applications that qualify for Compassionate Allowances. QDD utilizes a software program to scan through the applications and identify the ones that have the keywords or phrases which are expected in a Compassionate Allowances candidate.
QDD also scans applications for completeness. This means the program ensures that any applications shortlisted for the Compassionate Allowances include the basic details like:
- Name and detailed description of your medical condition
- Age, personal details and work history
- Any medications you are already using
Typically, SSA requires detailed and thorough medical documentation as evidence for a disability benefits application. So when you are seeking benefits under the Compassionate Allowances program, it is a good idea to include detailed and most up-to-date medical records with your application. The inclusion of such evidence helps SSA speed up the process even further and make a decision within days if not weeks.
How Soon Are Compassionate Allowances Claims Processed?
If you meet the requirements of the Compassionate Allowance program, SSA will speed up the processing of your application. On average, SSA takes 19 days to process QDD claims. For the Compassionate Allowances claims in general, the processing time is 15 to 20 days.
Hiring Reliable Disability Lawyers in Greenville SC
If you wish to seek expedited processing for your disability benefits application, we can help you. Here at Robert Surface Law Firm, we have a long record of helping clients qualify for SSA’s disability benefits. If you have a particularly severe disability, our attorneys will work with you to seek benefits under the Compassionate Allowances program. With good legal help on your side, you can be sure of meeting the key requirements of the program, such as appending the relevant medical evidence. This will significantly improve your odds of qualifying under the program. Contact us today for a free consultation with our lawyers and discuss your case with us in person.