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What is the Compassionate Allowances Initiative?

By Jennifer L. Foster, RN, Attorney-at-Law

In an effort to streamline Social Security Disability claims for conditions that are very severe, the Social Security Administration (SSA) created the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) Initiative.  There are currently 225 conditions that qualify for this expedited process. These conditions are so severe that they automatically meet the medical definition of disability under the Social Security program. If you have medical documentation that proves you have one of the qualifying conditions, your claim may be processed in as little as ten days to just a few weeks as opposed to months or years. If you have one of the following conditions, it is important that you let SSA know this as soon as possible, either at the beginning of the application process or if you already have a claim pending, as soon as a confirmed diagnosis is known so that you get this special treatment with your claim.

All of these disabilities will automatically qualify you medically for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, but you still need to meet certain non-medical rules. For SSDI, you need to be insured for disability insurance by having enough quarters of coverage or qualify under the rules for spouses or wage-earner parents. For SSI, you will need to meet certain income and asset limitations. Below are the current conditions that are listed in the CAL:
. Acute Leukemia
. Adrenal Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
. Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
. Adult Onset Huntington Disease
. Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome
. Alexander Disease (ALX) – Neonatal and Infantile
. Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome
. Alobar Holoprosencephaly
. Alpers Disease
. Alpha Mannosidosis – Type II and III
. Alstrom Syndrome
. Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
. Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
. Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
. Angelman Syndrome
. Angiosarcoma
. Aortic Atresia
. Aplastic Anemia
. Astrocytoma – Grade III and IV
. Ataxia Telangiectasia
. Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor
. Batten Disease
. Beta Thalassemia Major
. Bilateral Optic Atrophy- Infantile
. Bilateral Retinoblastoma
. Bladder Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
. Breast Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
. Canavan Disease (CD)
. Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site
. Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL Type
. Caudal Regression Syndrome – Types III and IV
. Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal (COFS) Syndrome
. Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis
. Child Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
. Child Lymphoma
. Child Neuroblastoma – with distant metastases or recurrent
. Chondrosarcoma – with multimodal therapy
. Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction
. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) – Blast Phase
. Coffin-Lowry Syndrome
. Congenital Lymphedema
. Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
. Corticobasal Degeneration
. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) – Adult
. Cri du Chat Syndrome
. Degos Disease – Systemic
. DeSanctis Cacchione Syndrome
. Dravet Syndrome
. Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
. Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18)
. Eisenmenger Syndrome
. Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
. Endomyocardial Fibrosis
. Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Cancer)
. Erdheim Chester Disease
. Esophageal Cancer
. Esthesioneuroblastoma
. Ewing Sarcoma
. Farber’s Disease (FD) – Infantile
. Fatal Familial Insomnia
. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
. Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma – metastatic or recurrent
. Friedreichs Ataxia (FRDA)
. Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Picks Disease -Type A – Adult
. Fryns Syndrome
. Fucosidosis – Type 1
. Fukuyama Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
. Fulminant Giant Cell Myocarditis
. Galactosialidosis – Early and Late Infantile Types
. Gallbladder Cancer
. Gaucher Disease (GD) – Type 2
. Giant Axonal Neuropathy
. Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Cancer)
. Glioma Grade III and IV
. Glutaric Acidemia – Type II
. Head and Neck Cancers – with distant metastasis or inoperable or unresectable
. Heart Transplant Graft Failure
. Heart Transplant Wait List – 1A/1B
. Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) – Familial Type
. Hepatoblastoma
. Hepatopulmonary Syndrome
. Hepatorenal Syndrome
. Histiocytosis Syndromes
. Hoyeaal-Hreidarsson Syndrome
. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
. Hydranencephaly
. Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis Syndrome
. Hypophosphatasia Perinatal (Lethal) and Infantile Onset Types
. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
. I Cell Disease
. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
. Intracranial Hemangiopericytoma
. Infantile Free Sialic Acid Storage Disease
. Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)
. Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
. Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
. Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome
. Joubert Syndrome
. Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa – Lethal Type
. Juvenile Onset Huntington Disease
. Kidney Cancer – inoperable or unresectable
. Krabbe Disease (KD) – Infantile
. Kufs Disease – Type A and B
. Large Intestine Cancer – with distant metastasis or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
. Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
. Leigh’s Disease
. Leiomyosarcoma
. Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis
. Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS)
. Lewy Body Dementia
. Liposarcoma – metastatic or recurrent
. Lissencephaly
. Liver Cancer
. Lowe Syndrome
. Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis – Grade III
. Malignant Brain Stem Gliomas – Childhood
. Malignant Ectomesenchymoma
. Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
. Malignant Germ Cell Tumor
. Malignant Melanoma – with metastases
. Malignant Multiple Sclerosis
. Malignant Renal Rhabdoid Tumor
. Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)
. Maple Syrup Urine Disease
. Marshall-Smith Syndrome
. Mastocytosis – Type IV
. MECP2 Duplication Syndrome
. Medulloblastoma
. Menkes Disease – Classic or Infantile Onset Form
. Merkel Cell Carcinoma – with metastases
. Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
. Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) – Late Infantile
. Mitral Valve Atresia
. Mixed Dementias
. MPS I, formerly known as Hurler Syndrome
. MPS II, formerly known as Hunter Syndrome
. MPS III, formerly known as Sanfilippo Syndrome
. Mucosal Malignant Melanoma
. Multicentric Castleman Disease
. Multiple System Atrophy
. Myoclonic Epilepsy with Ragged Red Fibers Syndrome
. Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy
. Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
. Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation – Types 1 and 2
. NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease
. Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) – Type A
. Niemann-Pick Disease-Type C
. Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia
. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer – with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
. Obliterative Bronchiolitis
. Ohtahara Syndrome
. Oligodendroglioma Brain Cancer- Grade III
. Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency
. Orthochromatic Leukodystrophy with Pigmented Glia
. Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) – Type II
. Osteosarcoma, formerly known as Bone Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
. Ovarian Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
. Pancreatic Cancer
. Pallister-Killian Syndrome
. Paraneoplastic Pemphigus
. Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)
. Pearson Syndrome
. Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Classic Form Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Connatal Form Peripheral Nerve Cancer – metastatic or recurrent
. Peritoneal Mesothelioma
. Peritoneal Mucinous Carcinomatosis
. Perry Syndrome
. Phelan-McDermid Syndrome
. Pleural Mesothelioma
. Pompe Disease – Infantile
. Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma
. Primary Effusion Lymphoma
. Primary Progressive Aphasia
. Progressive Bulbar Palsy
. Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
. Prostate Cancer – Hormone Refractory Disease – or with visceral metastases
. Pulmonary Atresia
. Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma
. Retinopathy of Prematurity – Stage V
. Rett (RTT) Syndrome
. Revesz Syndrome
. Rhabdomyosarcoma
. Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata
. Roberts Syndrome
. Salivary Cancers
. Sandhoff Disease
. Schindler Disease – Type 1
. Seckel Syndrome
. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency – Childhood
. Single Ventricle
. Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome
. Sinonasal Cancer
. Small Cell Cancer (of the Large Intestine, Prostate, Thymus, or Uterus)
. Small Cell Cancer of the Female Genital Tract
. Small Cell Lung Cancer
. Small Intestine Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
. Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome
. Soft Tissue Sarcoma – with distant metastases or recurrent
. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – Types 0 and 1
. Spinal Nerve Root Cancer-metastatic or recurrent
. Spinocerebellar Ataxia
. Stiff Person Syndrome
. Stomach Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
. Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
. Tabes Dorsalis
. Tay Sachs Disease – Infantile Type
. Thanatophoric Dysplasia – Type 1
. The ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex
. Thyroid Cancer
. Transplant Coronary Artery Vasculopathy
. Tricuspid Atresia
. Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
. Ureter Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable,unresectable or recurrent
. Usher Syndrome – Type I
. Ventricular Assist Device Recipient – Left, Right, or Biventricular
. Walker Warburg Syndrome
. Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome
. Wolman Disease
. X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease
. X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy
. Xeroderma Pigmentosum
. Zellweger Syndrome

If you do not have a medical condition on the compassionate allowance list, you can still be found disabled under the medical listing of impairments or if your medical condition’s functional limitations can be shown to prevent you from working. However, you won’t be entitled to a quicker decision.

The disability process can be a very difficult and lengthy process. In the midst of a health crisis, you are dealing with enough; let me fight this battle for you! Contact the Law Office of Jennifer L. Foster, PLLC at 731-506-
4006 or 901-866-9495 to discuss which legal strategies will get you the benefits you deserve, or visit us online at

The information in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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