Compassionate Allowances: Five Conditions Added to Fast Track

August 23, 2018 • By

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Last Updated: August 23, 2018

Quickly and accurately processing disability claims is important to us. It is through this commitment to you that we use the Compassionate Allowances program to help us identify and fast-track cases where people have diseases that are most likely to be approved for disability benefits.

On August 20, 2018, we added five conditions—Fibrolamellar Cancer, Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS), Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome (MCAP), Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System, and Tetrasomy 18p—to this essential list. Additions to the list allow us to ensure that those of you with qualifying disabilities can quickly receive the benefits you need.

Under the Social Security Act, we consider you disabled if you can’t work due to a severe medical condition that is expected to last at least one year, or result in death. More than 500,000 people with serious disabilities have been approved through this fast-track disability process, and the list of conditions is currently at 233 and growing. This list includes diseases such as pancreatic cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and acute leukemia.

The Compassionate Allowances program hurries help to those with the most severe conditions. If you, a friend, or family member have a severe condition, please visit our Compassionate Allowances website for more information about the program, including a list of all Compassionate Allowance conditions.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Shirley V.

    My brother has renal failure,I helped apply for SSI AND DISABILITY for him, and months later he still has no answer! He has papers from his kidney doctors saying he absolutely can no longer work and all his surgeries and constant hospital stays in ICU,which I turned in to Social Security and still waiting! He has nothing,he is living with me and my husband,which we live on Social Security,so trying to help him has put us in financial stress but he is my brother!!! I will not let him have nowhere to go!!! I just don’t understand how this can take so long with all the paperwork I have from doctors saying he is totally and permanently disabled!!!

    • Ray F.

      We are sorry to hear of your brother’s medical situation, Shirley. The length of time it takes to get a medical decision can vary from state to state. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending cases in your area.
      To follow up on the status of his claim, your brother should continue working with his local Social Security office. He can request to speak with the office manager to see how we can help expedite the processing of his claim. If unable to visit the local office, he can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Your brother may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which he lives, while he waits for a medical determination. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can help him get information about services in your area by contacting your local social services office. Or you can visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. Thanks.

  2. Anne S.

    What is the condition called; course hair on a young girls face.

    Thank you.

    * you all do an excellent job!

  3. Jeffrey L.

    I’m looking into short term disability I’ve been off work since july 11 2018 do to a stroke and im currently under doc. Care and doing rehab

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Jeffery. The Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs.

      We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability.

      You may find our listing of impairments useful.

      To learn more about the process we use to decide if you are disabled under our rules, visit our Disability Planner: How We Decide If You Are Disabled. Thanks!

  4. Lorraine R.

    My husband was denied twice. We are in line for the hearing they looked again and denied him again. However, the day they denied him for the 3rd time, he was diagnosed with a disease that is on the compassionate allowance list. When speaking with my attorney and the SS office, they said it was probably too late and we will have to wait in line until next November and December 2019. How can we overcome this issue.

    • Vonda V.

      Lorraine, we are sorry to hear about your husband’s disability. If his hearing was recently denied, he may ask the Appeals Council to review his case within 60 days of receiving the decision from the Administrative Law Judge. Your husband can provide additional evidence when he files his request for a review. If the Appeals Council decides to review the case, it will either decide the case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review.

      If he needs help requesting a review, contact your local Social Security office, your local hearing office or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  5. Carol B.

    I plan on reducing the number of hours and pay for the next 3 years. Will that change the amount of social security I will receive at 70 years old? I know you take the last 30 years to calculate the SS amount, which currently would be $3,016. per month.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Carol, thank you for the question. A Social Security retirement benefit is calculated by using your highest 35 years of earnings. If you do not have 35 years of earnings, we will use all of the earnings on your record and factor in an annual total of $0.00 earnings for each of the remaining years.

      Social Security has an online calculator called a Retirement Estimator that provides immediate retirement benefit estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record. Plus, it also allows you to create “what if” scenarios. You can, for example, change your “stop work” dates or expected future earnings to create and compare different retirement alternatives.

      See our Benefits Planner: Retirement web page for more on obtaining benefit estimates.

  6. Shelley H.

    Need help with meds my Medicaid won’t cover saying my slots are full. It’s monthly what my doctor has me on . Awaiting disability hearing decision . 3 rd time around ty

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Shelley. Some individuals may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where they live; while they wait for a final determination on their disability claim. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems.

      You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. Thanks.

  7. Corey A.

    Why do we have to wait In line for 3-4 plus hours just to turn in a death certificate so u can stop benefits on someone who passed away and there are no beneficiaries?????

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Corey. In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to Social Security. If you want them to do that, you will need to give the deceased’s Social Security Number to the funeral director so they can make the report. You can also report a death by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  8. sh

    Does getting fasttrack approval of a SSDI claim mean that (1) the 5 month waiting period before cash monthly benefits start is waived? and (2) the 24 month period before the disabled person becomes entitled to Medicare benefits is waived?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi. Thank you for the question. The Compassionate Allowances program helps us identify and fast-track cases where people have diseases that are most likely to be approved for disability benefits. It does not mean the 5-month waiting period or the 24-month Medicare waiting period is waived. However, individuals with ALS or permanent kidney failure are exempt from the 24-month waiting period for Medicare.

      • Susan F.

        Vonda, your fast track program isn’t working in our case…why not?

  9. Christa T.

    Of course, SSDI reviews are mandated by law, and most disability claims are based on diagnoses like bipolar and schizophrenia which are garbage diagnoses that can be cured without the use of psychiatric drugs. 7 years after I cured bipolar, and you still have done nothing about my case. Reviews are the law, your paltry benefits aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, and medicare is too god damn expensive. Update your horrific program.

  10. Carolyn L.

    I don’t have enough for my meds or groceries after being cut 187.00 a month on SS is there any help for me. Thank you

Comments are closed.