In August 2020, Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul announced the expansion of their Compassionate Allowances program. This recent move allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help thousands of Americans in need by adding five new diseases to the program’s qualifying conditions.
The Compassionate Allowances program helps those afflicted with severe medical conditions by quickly identifying disabilities that need immediate care and reducing the wait time before receiving treatment. How does it work?
Who is eligible for Social Security benefits?
Social Security Disability helps Americans unable to work due to a debilitating medical condition. The SSA helps oversee two programs that provide citizens with funds throughout their affliction:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): All workers and their employers pay into this insurance through a paycheck deduction. This program provides emergency coverage for workers temporarily disabled due to injury or illness. Payouts last for two years, at which point disabled individuals switch to Medicare for coverage.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This program provides monthly income to disabled or impoverished individuals. To qualify, a person must have less than $2,000 in cash or combined bank accounts. Not directly related to disability, SSI is available for anyone in dire financial circumstances.
The Compassionate Allowances program
The SSA supports the Compassionate Allowances program to bypass wait times and paperwork for severe disabilities requiring immediate attention. People who have a disability listed as a Compassionate Allowance can receive fast identification and processing, so medical professionals waste no time in treating the condition. Frequently, the SSA expanded their list of qualifying conditions based on community and advocacy group recommendations.
Commissioner Saul recently added five new Compassionate Allowances:
- Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors
- Infantile and Juvenile GM1 Gangliosidosis
- Nicolaides-Baraister Syndrome
- Rubinstein-Tybai Syndrome
- Secondary Adenocarcinoma of the Brain
Most conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list impact children and the elderly, two of the most vulnerable population groups.
Bring questions about SSDI eligibility to a lawyer
People with loved ones afflicted with the above conditions can reach out to a local attorney familiar with Social Security Disability. A lawyer will help apply for coverage, file appeals for denied claims and work with government officials to expedite coverage.