Belleville , IL (PressExposure) December 10, 2012 -- The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced yesterday it has added 35 conditions to its Compassionate Allowances program. This is a step forward for individuals with rare or severe conditions that clearly meet the rules for disability benefits, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation.
The Compassionate Allowances program was introduced in 2008 to fast-track disability claims that obviously qualify for benefits based on a predetermined list of diseases and conditions. Many of these conditions, which now number 200, are types of cancers or adult brain disorders. Click here for a complete list of Compassionate Allowances conditions. Individuals with these qualifying conditions can receive disability benefits in a matter of weeks versus months or even years.
"Rare diseases tend to be severe and chronic," said Peter Saltonstall, president and CEO of the National Organization for Rare Disorders, whose organization praised the announcement from SSA. "Many people affected by these diseases struggle with overwhelming medical and financial challenges."
Seeking SSDI representation offers advantages to individuals with disabilities, including those who may qualify for the SSA's fast-track initiative, said Mike Stein, assistant vice president of claims at Allsup.
"Allsup representatives can help individuals determine if their conditions meet Compassionate Allowances requirements," Stein explained. "However, even qualifying applicants--about 5 percent of all initial claims--still face a comprehensive application process. Allsup can gather the necessary medical and work histories, and complete the proper documentation to support the claim."
SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible.
With more than 2.8 million Social Security disability applications in FY2012 alone, it's important to file for benefits as soon as possible. "To ensure SSA workers realize the claim should be reviewed quickly, an Allsup representative will flag the claim as a Compassionate Allowances claim," Stein said. "With hundreds of years of combined experience working with the SSA, our representatives can help people avoid mistakes that could result in delays on their claim."
Nearly 200,000 individuals with severe disabilities have received disabilities benefits faster through the Compassionate Allowances program, according to the SSA. The new qualifying conditions are:
1. Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
2. Adult-Onset Huntington Disease
3. Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome
4. Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
5. Aplastic Anemia
6. Beta Thalassemia Major
7. Bilateral Optic Atrophy - Infantile
8. Caudal Regression Syndrome - Types III and IV
9. Child T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
10. Congenital Lymphedema
11. DeSanctis-Cacchione Syndrome
12. Dravet Syndrome
13. Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
14. Erdheim Chester Disease
15. Fatal Familial Insomnia
16. Fryns Syndrome
17. Fulminant Giant Cell Myocarditis
18. Hepatopulmonary Syndrome
19. Hepatorenal Syndrome
20. Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome
22. Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
23. Malignant Germ Cell Tumor
24. MECP2 Duplication Syndrome
25. Menkes Disease - Classic or Infantile Onset Form
26. NFU1 Mitochondrial Disease
27. Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia
28. Peritoneal Mucinous Carcinomatosis
29. Phelan-McDermid Syndrome
30. Retinopathy of Prematurity - Stage V
31. Roberts Syndrome
32. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency - Childhood
33. Sinonasal Cancer
34. Transplant Coronary Artery Vasculopathy
35. Usher Syndrome - Type I For more information about eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, contact Allsup's Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.