Compassionate Allowances: The Basics


Social Security goes to great lengths in order to decide who is considered disabled and who is not. However, there are circumstances where a disability will bring you close to death. During these times, there is no doubt you qualify for benefits. The SSA understands this and created the Compassionate Allowances program to speed up your process if you qualify. In this article we will explain the what, why and how of compassionate allowances.

What are Compassionate Allowances?

It is a list of diseases that the SSA considers obvious disabilities. When first started in 2008, Compassionate Allowances (CAL) included 88 diseases and disabilities. Each year the list is updated and reviewed in order to ensure immediate help to those who need it. The list now includes more than 200 disabilities. If you have the medical evidence that proves you have one of these disabilities, the SSA will speed up the process to your benefits. It may take a few weeks compared to months or years.

Why are Compassionate Allowances needed?

All disabilities are important. However, the SSA is famously sluggish and the claims process for your benefits takes time, a lot of time. However, there are some disabilities that can’t wait. For example, there  are cancers that make it impossible for you to work under any circumstances. Compassionate Allowances put your claim on the fast track when you need it most.

How do I Qualify?

First, if you have a CAL disability make sure that you have the medical evidence needed to prove it. At this point it is out of your hands. Talk to a local Utah Social Security disability lawyer, they will help you apply for disability benefits normally, but as soon as the SSA sees you have a CAL disability, they will expedite your claim. You may be awarded benefits in as little as 10 days. Remember, that even though you have been awarded benefits, you may not receive them right away. It takes time.

If you believe that you have a CAL disease, contact us. We are experienced Salt Lake City Social Security Disability lawyers and we know how to help you receive the benefits you have earned. Navigating the SSA can be confusing, but we know how to help when you need it.

Photo “Fall in Wasatch Mountains” copyright by Mike Nielsen.