Social Security allowances

July 15, 2011
Fast track disability process will look at 100 conditions.

Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security, has announced 12 additional Compassionate Allowances conditions involving severe heart diseases.

This bringing the total number of conditions in the expedited disability process to 100.

Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.

“We have reached a significant milestone for the Compassionate Allowances program,” Commissioner Astrue said. “We have an obligation to award benefits quickly to people whose medical conditions are so serious they clearly meet our disability standards. We are now able to do precisely that for 100 severe conditions.”

Exploring a new frontier in Social Security

The Compassionate Allowances initiative is one of two parts of the agency’s fast-track system for certain disability claims. When combined with the Quick Disability Determination process, Social Security last year approved more than 100,000 cases, usually in less than two weeks. This year, the agency expects to fast-track nearly 150,000 cases.

Social Security has held seven public hearings and worked with experts to develop the list of Compassionate Allowances conditions. The hearings also have helped the agency identify additional ways to improve the disability process for applicants with Compassionate Allowances conditions.

“By definition, these illnesses are so severe that we don’t need to fully develop the applicant’s work history to make a decision,” said Commissioner Astrue.

As a result, beginning in August 2011, Social Security is eliminating this part of the application process for people who have a condition on the list.

New Compassionate Allowances conditions
Aortic Atresia
Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient
Eisenmenger Syndrome
Mitral Valve Atresia
Endomyocardial Fibrosis
Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis
Heart Transplant Graft Failure
Pulmonary Atresia
Heart Transplant Wait List - 1A/1B
Single Ventricle
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Tricuspid Atresia

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