Generally speaking, it takes between three to five months for the Social Security Administration to make a determination regarding a claim. Many claimants, especially those with severely debilitating conditions and illnesses, cannot wait three to five months — or possibly more — to start receiving benefits.
Unfortunately, there is little a claimant can do to speed up the determination process. However, the SSA does have an initiative designed to reduce the wait time for individuals with the most serious disabilities. The Social Security Administration website refers to that initiative as the Compassionate Allowances initiative.
The purpose of Compassionate Allowances
The SSA uses Compassionate Allowances as a means of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that meet the Social Security’s strict qualifying standards for disability benefits. The program identifies claims in which the claimant’s condition clearly meets the administration’s statutory standards for disability and, therefore, does away with the lengthy investigative and determination processes. While several conditions qualify as “Compassionate Allowances,” the primary conditions include adult brain disorders, certain cancers and rare conditions that affect children.
The SSA uses cutting-edge technology to quickly identify claims that list Compassionate Allowances. This technology further speeds up the determination process.
Qualifying Compassionate Allowances
Per the SSA, the list of conditions that qualify as Compassionate Allowances is a lengthy one. Conditions range from acute leukemia to child lymphoma to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Though disabled or sick persons should refer to the list before filing a claim, examples of CALs are as follows:
- Liver disease
- Adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Adult-onset Huntington disease
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Heart transplant failure
- Ovarian cancer
- Small lung cancer
Some claimants may qualify if they have a condition that requires a certain procedure. For instance, individuals who are on a heart transplant wait list may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance.