Hundreds of thousands of people per year develop an impairment that significantly affects their ability to live healthy, prosperous lives.
Thankfully, every year disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) help a growing number of impaired Oregonians make ends meet. The process is not easy, however, and many Americans are denied benefits due to a lack of understanding of the bureaucratic practices of the SSA. An informed comprehension of the steps involved can significantly improve your chances of approval, as can expert counsel.
That said, there is another path for those with debilitating impairments. “Compassionate Allowances” are the SSA’s way of expediting the application process for individuals with extreme cases of disability. They are a way of prioritizing disabled people for benefits based on promptly gathered objective medical evidence. The Compassionate Allowances program (CAL) swiftly recognizes illnesses and impairments of those who would inevitably qualify for disability based on the severity of their disorder, and pushes those heavily impacted individuals to the front of the line. The program recognizes the medical conditions outlined in the SSA’s listings of accepted impairments by acknowledging medical advice and objective observations. What follows is a bit of helpful information that can greatly improve the prosperity of those who qualify for this program.
What is the SSA’s List of Impairments?
The SSA outlines a number of disorders that it considers severe enough to automatically qualify for disability benefits. The list contains disabilities ranging from musculoskeletal dysfunction to mental illness to compromised immune systems. In order to be eligible for disability benefits, you must have a medical professional diagnose you with one of these impairments and also provide proof that you meet the exact requirements of the listed impairment.
Which Impairments Qualify for Compassionate Allowances?
The CAL program is not a Social Security program in and of itself. Rather, it is an expedited way of getting people into already established SS programs. The conditions that qualify for CAL are chosen based on information gathered from medical and scientific specialists, and research conducted by The National Institute of Health.
To qualify for the CAL program, your condition must match one of the disabilities on the SSA’s list and meet specific criteria for how progressive or severe it must be. For instance, cancer may qualify you for Compassionate Allowances, but only if cancer has reached stage IV or it has metastasized. The SSA’s website has a full list of conditions that qualify for CAL. If you do not see your own condition but you believe that it is severe enough to Be placed on the list, you can submit a request to the SSA that your disability be considered. In 2021 and 2022, there were at least 12 new conditions added to the Compassionate Allowances list, and more are added every year.
How Quick is the Approval Process?
Under normal circumstances, approval for disability benefits takes 6 to 12 months. The process can be much longer if initial applications are denied and appeals are needed. The Compassionate Allowances program significantly shortens the approval process for those with severe disabilities that qualify. Diseases like terminal cancer or impairments like autoimmune or genetic disorders can qualify an individual for benefits in as little as a few weeks. Financial benefits are awarded before the full application process is complete. The process can be so quick, in fact, that occasionally families begin receiving benefits months before finding out the result of the application. An experienced Social Security attorney can assist you with the appeals process.
Is the Application Process More Complicated?
The application process for disability benefits is complicated enough. Extensive documentation is required of the patient’s medical history. Thankfully, the Compassionate Allowances program does not add any further complications to this process. Once the application is received, a Social Security worker checks the condition against the list of impairments that qualify for Compassionate Allowances. If they find that your disability qualifies, financial help is sent as soon as possible.
If you believe that you or a loved one qualify for Social Security Insurance Benefits, an expert attorney can significantly increase your chances of approval. Call Drew L. Johnson, P.C. Attorneys At Law today at (541) 434-6466 for a free consultation.