Social Security Column
NEW COMPASSIONATE ALLOWANCES CONDITIONS MEAN
FASTER DECISIONS FOR THOUSANDS OF DISABLED PEOPLE
By Amanda Donahue
Social Security District Manager in the Crescent City Office
In April, Social Security announced 52 new Com-passionate Allowances conditions to the growing list of severe medical con-ditions that qualify for ex-pedited medical decisions. The new conditions in-clude many neurological disorders, cancers, and rare diseases.
The Compassionate Allow-ances initiative is a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical condi-tions that invariably qualify as “disabled” based on minimal medical infor-mation. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to quickly identify the most obviously disa-bled individuals for allow-ances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly.
The announcement of 52 new conditions, effective in August, will increase the total number of Compas-sionate Allowances condi-tions to 165.
That list continues to grow as Social Security, the National Institutes of Health, and a number of patient or-ganizations help identify new conditions that clearly warrant quick approvals.
“Social Security will continue to work with the medical community and patient organizations to add more conditions,” Commissioner Astrue said. “With our Compassionate Allowances program, we quickly approved disability benefits for nearly 61,000 people with severe disabilities in the past fiscal year, and nearly 173,000 applications since the program began.”
Social Security develops the list of Compassionate Allowances conditions from information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the disability community, counsel of medical and scientific experts, and research with the National Institutes of Health. Also, we consider which conditions are most likely to meet our definition of disability.
For more information on the Compassionate Allowances initiative, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.