Social Security Disability: What Are The Compassionate Allowance (CAL) Conditions?

Compassionate allowance conditions for Social Security Disability

People with severe medical conditions who have applied for Social Security disability benefits may find their applications expedited to the Compassionate Allowance (CAL) Initiative. This initiative accelerates the applications of people whose impairments or medical conditions obviously make them eligible for benefits through SSA’s two disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Conditions on the Compassionate Allowance List Can Get Your Claim Expedited

The SSA keeps a list of designated compassionate allowance conditions, which it updates regularly. According to the SSA, CAL conditions are selected with help from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, through joint research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and advice from medical experts. The SSA has held seven CAL public outreach hearings regarding various conditions, including early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and autoimmune diseases. According to the SSA, there are currently more than 200 compassionate allowance conditions listed. The agency plans to continue expanding the list annually.



Those with compassionate allowance conditions don’t have to fill out special forms, however. Once a person with a CAL condition has their application within the system the process to receiving benefits can be much quicker, usually taking weeks instead of months or years, according to SSA. The timeliness of the process mostly depends on how quickly the agency is able to receive medical evidence from health care professionals and if an objective medical examination needs to be conducted to determine eligibility. However, there is often less work involved for an applicant with a CAL condition, as the agency eliminated numerous questions that are not applicable to a person with a CAL condition. These impairments are determined because they are, without a doubt, disabling conditions, so needing to answer certain questions to determine the severity of the impairment is unnecessary to the process.

However, it is worth noting the compassionate allowance initiative only fast-tracks the application. In other words, applicants won’t receive more benefits than they would have under SSDI or SSI.

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