In recent years, the Social Security Administration has developed a Compassionate Allowances initiative so that caseworkers can identify and expedite applications for children and adults who have medical conditions so serious that they obviously meet disability standards.
In March of 2010, the Social Security Administration added 38 new Compassionate Allowance medical conditions to the list of those serious enough to obviously meet disability standards, allowing for expedited processing based on minimal objective medical information from children and adult applicants. In December 2012, the SSA added dozens more.
The Social Security SSI program for children, teens and adults with disabilities provides payments to support the individual and provides access to other federal or state benefits like Medicaid, food stamps and social services.
Parents may apply for SSI for their children at any age to receive benefits, but determination of eligibility can take several months and may require an appeal when the first application is denied due to delayed or insufficient medical evidence or other reasons.
The SSA has held public hearings since 2007 to collect and consider testimony to identify and expedite applications for those whose medical conditions invariably qualify with minimal, but sufficient, objective medical information, so that benefits can be provided within 20 days for those with clearly disabling conditions whose medical evidence is readily available.
The Social Security Administration continues to have hearings to implement Compassionate Allowances for children and adults with rare diseases and add to the Listing of Impairments that would qualify based on minimal objective medical information.
By 2010, the five Compassionate Allowance public outreach hearings had been on rare diseases; cancers; traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke; early-onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementias; and schizophrenia. By 2012 public hearings had been held on cardiovascular disease, multiple organ transplants, and autoimmune diseases. By 2013, the Compassionate Allowances list included 200 conditions.
Updated: January 2014 List of Conditions qualifying for Compassionate Allowances (in red)
Initial List of Conditions
Conditions highlighted in Red effective December 1, 2012. (See update above)
Social Security Adds 38 New Compassionate Allowance Conditions 3/1/2010
Compassionate Allowance outreach hearing on rare diseases
Compassionate Allowance Outreach Hearing on Cancers
April 7, 2008
Compassionate Allowance Outreach Hearing on Brain Injuries and Stroke
November 18, 2008
Compassionate Allowance Outreach Hearing on Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias - July 29, 2009
Statements from Family Members and Individuals with Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease
Compassionate Allowance Outreach Hearing on Schizophrenia
San Francisco, CA
November 18, 2009
Wyoming widower looks to the courts to fulfill promise to his dying wife
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What are Compassionate Allowances (CAL)?
Social Security information on SSI for kids with disabilities
from the Social Security Administration - also SSDI