Thousands of people in California and across the country rely on Social Security Disability insurance benefits to help them make ends meet. Whether you are born with a disability that makes it difficult for you to work, you have been injured or you developed a condition that keeps you from holding a job, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Yet, some people who apply for benefits may have to wait months, even years, before finding out if they are awarded benefits.
The Compassionate Allowances Program is designed to speed up the application process for those who have certain conditions that clearly meet SSDI benefit requirements, such as rare diseases that affect kids, brain disorders and cancers. Special software detects and pulls out the applications of people who have these disorders so SSA representatives can expedite their case.
The Social Security Administration constantly updates their list of covered conditions after listening closely to scientific experts in the field, medical professionals, public outreach hearings and the National Institutes of Health.
Close to 1 million people currently wait to see if their application for benefits has been approved, and some may pass away before they ever find out. In one case, a construction worker suffered a series of heart attacks and applied for SSDI benefits. His claim was initially denied, but he appealed the decision. Sadly, at age 58, the man passed away from another heart attack later that year, and was approved for SSDI benefits two months later.