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Compassionate Allowances

The Social Security Administration offers a compassionate allowance program for disabled individuals
who have applied for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. The
compassionate allowance program provides benefits quickly to disability applicants whose condition is
so serious that it is clear that they would qualify for disability under the Social Security
Administration’s Listing of Impairments. This program allows the Social Security Administration to
target those individuals who would certaintly be found disabled and award them benefits soon after
they apply.

Unlike many disability claims, Compassionate Allowance cases are decided within a matter of days
rather than months. While compassionate allowances allow disability determinations to be made
quickly, Social Security disability beneficiaries still must wait five months after the onset date of their
condition to begin receiving benefit.

Conditions that qualify for compassionate allowances include:

• Many cancers;
• ALS;
• types of muscular dystrophy;
• Alzheimer’s disease;
• Desmoplastic small round cell tumors;
• GM1 gangliosidosis;
• Nicolades-Baraister Syndrome;
• Rubenstein-Tybai Syndrome;
• Secondary Adenocarcinoma of the Brain; AND
• many other conditions.

Claiming a disability or disease on the Compassionate Allowance list is enough to put your application
for benefits on the fast track for approval. For some conditions, a diagnosis, along with supporting
evidence, is enough to qualify. These conditions include esophageal cancer, ALS, or an organ

The Social Security Administration uses the same rules to evaluate Compassionate Allowances
conditions when evaluating both Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security

The Social Security Administration also has a program for terminal illnesses (TERI) that provides
quick disability decisions. Compassionate allowance cases are similar to terminal illness claims,
however, not all compassionate allowance cases involve a terminal illness. Another program, the
presumptive disability program, does not speed up your disability decision, but it does pay benefits
while your claim is being decided. This disability program is only available if you have filed for
Supplemental Security Income. Dire need cases exist when an individual is unable to obtain food, lacks
medicine or medical care or is unable to obtain it or access it, or when the claimant lacks shelter (e.g.,
is without utilities such that his or her home is uninhabitable, homelessness, expiration of a shelter stay,
or imminent eviction or foreclosure).

If you or someone you know has a severe condition that may qualify for the compassionate allowance
program, call the law office of Michael Monce at (859)344-8090.

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