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What is the 'Compassionate Allowance' disability program?

People living in Houston who have applied for Social Security disability benefits may have experienced a significant delay in receiving a decision on their claim. Moreover, sometimes their initial claim is denied, necessitating an appeal. Some may feel that such a system can hardly be called "compassionate," but the Social Security Administration has attempted to inject a small amount of compassion into the claims process by identifying diseases and medical conditions that fall squarely within the definition of totally disabling conditions. A person who is diagnosed with such a disease is most often given swift consideration and approval of their disability claim.

The SSA has a lengthy list of illnesses and injuries that indisputably meet SSA standards for proving a permanent disability and therefore establishing an entitlement to a "compassionate allowance." The list is quite long, and it includes certain cancers, adult brain disorders and various rare disorders that affect children. Specific examples of diseases in the list include adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aplastic anemia, child lymphoma and inflammatory breast cancer. The diseases are generally seen as inherently completely disabling, and the prognosis is usually death within 12 months. The SSA also considers compassionate allowance claims for diseases that are not on the list but which affect the people in similar ways.

Anyone who receives a diagnosis of being afflicted with a disease that is on the SSD Compassionate Allowance list can file a claim for SSD benefits if they wish. The applicant need not do anything special to be considered for the Compassionate Allowance program. The filing should include both medical and employment records, although by their very nature, illnesses on the compassionate allowances list are quickly determined to be disabling. In these cases, medical evidence is far more important than evidence relating to the disability.

If questions arise during the claims process, applicants may want to seek the advice of an attorney experienced with handling disability claims. With the right help, a person can submit a claim for SSD benefits that is thorough and legally sound.

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