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What are Compassionate Allowances for SSD benefits?


Houston residents who have an illness, condition or injury that clearly meet the medical requirements for an approval to receive Social Security Disability might be able to get their benefits faster than they otherwise would if they used the customary process. This is known as Compassionate Allowances. With CAL, the medical issues will be identified based on whether they are on the Listing of Impairments with a minimum of objective medical assessment.

With CAL, the Social Security Administration can identify applicants whose issues are clear and the medical information regarding their condition and its prognosis can be accumulated rapidly. CAL is not separate from Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. The conditions that are part of CAL are based on information that the SSA gets through public outreach hearings, comments from the various communities that are sent to the Social Security and Disability Determination Services, through experts in the medical and scientific communities, and research from the National Institutes of Health. Conditions that will likely meet the applicable definition of disability are also taken into consideration.

CAL public outreach hearings have centered on traumatic brain injury, cancers, stroke, schizophrenia, diseases of the cardiovascular system, those who have received multiple organ transplants, autoimmune diseases and rare diseases. There is not a specific application that is used for CAL. The usual process must be followed when seeking disability benefits. For those who have a condition that falls under CAL, the applications will be expedited.

One of the biggest concerns for those who are seeking disability is the amount of time they might have to wait before receiving an approval. CAL accounts for that with certain injuries, illnesses and conditions. For assistance with using CAL to apply for benefits and to receive an approval faster, claimants should speak to a lawyer who is experienced with SSD benefits and all of the SSA's programs and rules.

Source: ssa.gov, "Compassionate Allowances," accessed on Jan. 8, 2017

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