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Compassionate Allowances now includes 200 conditions

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are meant to replace income lost due to a serious and long-term disabling condition that prevents a person from working full time. But for most people who apply for SSD benefits, the application process can be a long and tedious process. Not only do you have to prove that you have a bona fide disability, you also have to prove that your condition prevents you from doing the work you once did as well as other types of work.

Unfortunately, many people with legitimate disabilities are initially denied benefits and it can take months or even years before they receive any assistance. To prevent this from happening to people with the most serious illnesses and injuries, the Social Security Administration created the Compassionate Allowances program. This program identifies a list of 200 disabling conditions that automatically qualify a person for benefits.

Since October 2008, the Compassionate Allowances program has allowed nearly 200,000 people with severe disabilities to be approved quickly for benefits through the expedited application process. In most cases, people who qualify under the program can be medically approved in less than two weeks. Most of the diseases on the Compassionate Allowances list are cancers, adult brain disorders and rare disorders in children.

The SSA recently decided to add 35 disabling conditions to the Compassionate Allowances list, bringing the total to 200. The SSA decides which diseases and other medical conditions to add to the list after considering a wealth of information from public hearings, the medical and science fields, the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, and the the National Institutes of Health.

For a complete list of conditions qualifying for the Compassionate Allowances program, visit the SSA's web site at: www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

Source: Santa Ynez Valley News, "Fast-tracked disability process now has 200 medical conditions," Essie Landry, Feb. 7, 2013

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