Compassionate Allowances List for Fast-Tracking Disability Claims

Compassionate allowances list

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a program to help those with dire medical issues secure benefits faster. This program, the CAL initiative, consists only of conditions that automatically meet the SSA’s definition of disability. See if your impairment falls on the compassionate allowances list for fast-tracking your disability claim below.



How Does the Compassionate Allowances List Help Speed Up Claim Reviews?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) established the compassionate allowances list (CAL initiative) in 2008. They did this to help Americans with severe medical conditions get approved for Social Security disability benefits faster. Anyone whose condition forces them to stop working at least one year may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. But the claims review process and five-month mandatory wait period are especially hard for people with terminal and rare conditions. The compassionate allowances list speeds up claim reviews for people who clearly meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled.”

Do Claimants Get Paid Faster for Conditions On the Compassionate Allowances List?

The CAL program’s helped at least 500,000 people with severe medical conditions get claims approved faster. The compassionate allowances list now includes 233 different conditions, and the SSA adds more every year. This helps ensure Americans suffering from dire medical issues receive SSD benefits as soon as possible. About 95% of claimants applying with a condition get their claims approved in 10-14 days.

Quick approvals under the compassionate allowances list mean you’ll need to submit thorough medical records to support your claim. If the SSA denies your claim (which isn’t always for medical reasons), you have 60 days to appeal. Unfortunately, you won’t qualify for more money each month just because your condition’s on the compassionate allowances list.

What Conditions Are Currently On the Compassionate Allowances List?

Periodically, the SSA adds new medical conditions to its compassionate allowances list. According to the SSA, these conditions are determined using information from public outreach hearings, comments from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, counsel of medical and scientific experts, and research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These medical conditions all fall under the compassionate allowances list to fast-track Social Security disability claims:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Adrenal cancer
  • Adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Adult-onset Huntington’s disease
  • Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome
  • Alexander disease (ALX) – neonatal and infantile
  • Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome
  • Alobar holoprosencephaly
  • Alpers disease
  • Alpha-mannosidosis (type II and III)
  • ALS/Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS-PDC)
  • Alström syndrome
  • Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS)
  • Amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anaplastic adrenal cancer (inoperable, unresectable or recurrent or with distant metastases)
  • Angelman syndrome
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Aortic atresia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Astrocytoma (grade III and IV)
  • Ataxia-telangiectasia
  • Batten disease
  • Beta thalassemia major
  • Bilateral optic atrophy (infantile)
  • Bilateral retinoblastoma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Canavan disease (CD)
  • Carcinoma of unknown primary site
  • Cardiac amyloidosis (AL type)
  • Caudal regression syndrome (types III and IV)
  • Cerebro-oculo-facio-skeletal (COFS) syndrome
  • Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis
  • Child lymphoblastic lymphoma
  • Child lymphoma
  • Child neuroblastoma
  • Chondrosarcoma (with distant or recurrent metastases)
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) – blast phase
  • Coffin-Lowry syndrome
  • Congenital lymphedema
  • Congenital myotonic dystrophy
  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome (classic form)
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) – adult
  • Cri-du-chat syndrome
  • Degos disease (systemic)
  • DeSanctis-Cacchione syndrome
  • Dravet syndrome
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18)
  • Eisenmenger syndrome
  • Endometrial stromal sarcoma
  • Endomyocardial fibrosis
  • Ependymoblastoma (child brain cancer)
  • Erdheim-Chester disease
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esthesioneuroblastoma
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • Farber’s disease (FD) – infantile
  • Fatal familial insomnia
  • Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva
  • Follicular dendritic cell sarcoma (metastatic or recurrent)
  • Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA)
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Pick’s disease – type A – adult 
  • Fryns syndrome
  • Fucosidosis (type 1)
  • Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy
  • Fulminant giant cell myocarditis
  • Galactosialidosis – early and late infantile types
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gaucher disease (GD) – type 2
  • Glioblastoma multiforme (brain cancer)
  • Glioma (grade III and IV)
  • Glutaric acidemia (type II)
  • Head and neck cancers (with distant metastases or which are either inoperable or unresectable)
  • Heart transplant graft failure
  • Heart transplant wait list (1A/1B)
  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) – familial type
  • Hepatoblastoma
  • Hepatopulmonary syndrome
  • Hepatorenal syndrome
  • Histiocytosis
  • Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome (HHS)
  • Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome
  • Hydranencephaly
  • Hypocomplementemic urticarial vasculitis
  • Hypophosphatasia (perinatal/lethal and infantile onset types)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • I-cell disease
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Infantile free sialic acid storage disease
  • Infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy (INAD)
  • Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses
  • Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)
  • Intracranial hemangiopericytoma
  • Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome
  • Junctional epidermolysis bullosa (lethal type)
  • Juvenile Huntington’s disease
  • Kidney cancer (if it’s inoperable or unresectable)
  • Kleefstra syndrome
  • Krabbe disease (KD) – infantile
  • Kufs disease (Type A and B)
  • Large intestine cancer (with distant metastases or which is inoperable, unresectable or recurrent in nature)
  • Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses
  • Leigh syndrome (also known as subacute necrotizing encephalomyelopathy)
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis
  • Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS)
  • Lewy body dementia (LBD)
  • Liposarcoma – metastatic or recurrent
  • Lissencephaly
  • Liver cancer
  • Lowe syndrome (Oculocerebrorenal syndrome)
  • Lymphomatoid granulomatosis (grade III)
  • Malignant brain stem gliomas (childhood)
  • Malignant ectomesenchymoma
  • Malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor
  • Malignant melanoma (with metastases)
  • Malignant multiple sclerosis
  • Malignant renal rhabdoid tumor
  • Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)
  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Marshall-Smith syndrome
  • Mastocytosis (type IV)
  • MECP2 duplication syndrome
  • Medulloblastoma (with metastases)
  • Megacystis microcolon intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome
  • Megalencephaly capillary malformation syndrome
  • Menkes disease (classic or infantile onset forms)
  • Merkel cell carcinoma (with metastases)
  • Merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1A)
  • Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD or Arylsufatase A deficiency) – late infantile
  • Mitral valve atresia
  • Mixed dementias
  • MPS I (Hurler syndrome)
  • MPS II (Hunter syndrome)
  • MPS III (Sanfilippo syndrome)
  • Mucosal malignant melanoma
  • Multicentric Castleman disease
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • MERFF syndrome (myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibers syndrome)
  • Neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis
  • Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (types 1 and 2)
  • NFU1 mitochondrial disease
  • Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) – types A and C
  • Nonketotic hyperglycinemia
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Obliterative bronchiolitis
  • Ohtahara syndrome
  • Ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency
  • Orthochromatic leukodystrophy with pigmented glia
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) – type 2
  • Osteosarcoma, also known as bone cancer (with distant metastases or which is inoperable or unresectable in nature)
  • Ovarian cancer (with distant metastases or which is inoperable or unresectable in nature)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Paraneoplastic pemphigus
  • Patau syndrome (trisomy 13)
  • Pearson syndrome
  • Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) – connatal and classic forms
  • Peripheral nerve cancer (metastatic or recurrent)
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Peritoneal mucinous carcinomatosis
  • Perry syndrome
  • Phelan-McDermid syndrome (22q13 syndrome)
  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Pompe disease (infantile)
  • Primary central nervous system lymphoma
  • Primary effusion lymphoma
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Progressive bulbar palsy
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy (Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome)
  • Prostate cancer – hormone refractory disease – or with visceral metastases
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Pulmonary Kaposi’s sarcoma
  • Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – stage V
  • Rett (RTT) syndrome
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS)
  • Rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata
  • Roberts syndrome
  • Salivary cancers
  • Sandhoff disease (Sandhoff-Jatzkewitz disease)
  • Schindler disease (type 1)
  • Seckel syndrome
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency (childhood)
  • Single ventricle heart defect
  • Sinonasal cancer
  • Sjogren-Larsson syndrome
  • Skin malignant melanoma with metastases
  • Small cell cancer (female genital tract, large intestine, prostate or thymus)
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Small intestine cancer (with distant metastases or which is inoperable, unresectable or recurrent in nature)
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
  • Soft tissue sarcoma – with distant metastases or recurrent
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) – types 0 and 1
  • Spinal nerve root cancer (metastatic or recurrent)
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
  • Stiff person syndrome (SPS)
  • Stomach cancer (with distant metastases or which is inoperable, unresectable or recurrent in nature)
  • Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)
  • Tabes dorsalis
  • Tay-Sachs disease (infantile type)
  • Tetrasomy 18p
  • Thanatophoric dysplasia (type 1)
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Transplant coronary artery vasculopathy
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy
  • Ureter cancer (with distant metastases or which is inoperable, unresectable or recurrent in nature)
  • Usher syndrome (type I)
  • Ventricular assist device recipient (left, right, or biventricular)
  • Walker-Warburg syndrome (WWS)
  • Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS)
  • Wolman disease
  • X-linked lymphoproliferative disease
  • X-linked myotubular myopathy
  • Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)
  • Zellweger syndrome (cerebrohepatorenal syndrome)

How to File Your Claim Under the Compassionate Allowances List Initiative

File your claim the way you normally would for disability benefits. However, make sure to note your eligibility for fast-tracking under the compassionate allowances list on your application. Claim-processing software will automatically flag your application for fast-tracking through the SSA’s review process. Should your claim get approved, you’ll start receiving SSDI payments in as little as two weeks.

It’s important to make sure you’re adequately prepared before you apply, however. First, gather all medical evidence proving your disability limits you from working full-time. Your evidence must clearly show – without further medical testing – that your condition’s very serious. Your impairment must also last at least one year or expected to result in death to qualify for SSD benefits. All conditions on the compassionate allowances list should qualify, but you still need to prove your diagnosis exists.

When To Apply for Disability Benefits If You Have a Condition On the Compassionate Allowances List

The best time to file your benefits claim under the CAL initiative is right after your diagnosis. Your doctors should send your medical records to the SSA as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you won’t be notified if your application’s fast-tracked under the Social Security compassionate allowances list program. However, you’ll receive a letter in the mail explaining whether your claim is approved or denied after they review it. For regular claims filed for conditions not found on the compassionate allowances list, the review process typically takes 3-5 months.

You May Qualify for Legal Assistance

Not sure which medical records can help fast-track your disability claim under the CAL initiative? A lawyer can review your case and give free advice that applies to your specific situation. You’ll also pay nothing now for help filing your claim under the compassionate allowances list fast-track. In fact, getting professional help from a lawyer is the best way to get paid the most benefits you’re owed.

Not sure how to find a qualified lawyer in your area to help you? The experienced Social Security attorneys in our network all work on contingency. They won’t take on your case unless they believe you qualify for SSD benefits. And if your case does win, you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

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