Disability, General, Online Services

How Our Expanded Compassionate Allowances Program Helps People with Severe Disabilities

August 16, 2021 • By

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Last Updated: November 2, 2023

A photo of Darlynda BogleOn August 16, 2021, Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced 12 new Compassionate Allowances conditions. Compassionate Allowances is an initiative that quickly identifies severe medical conditions and diseases that meet our standards for disability benefits.

“Everyone who is eligible for benefits under the programs we administer should receive them,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “Our Compassionate Allowances program helps us address barriers by helping accelerate the disability application process for people who are likely to get approved for benefits due to the severity of their medical condition.”

Due to the severe nature of many of the Compassionate Allowance conditions, claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone. For example, certain cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and a number of rare disorders that affect children, would qualify under this program.

When a person applies for disability benefits, we must obtain medical records in order to make an accurate determination. With electronic records transmission, we can quickly obtain their medical information, review it, and make a fast determination. For more information about the program, including a list of all Compassionate Allowances conditions, please visit our Compassionate Allowances page.

To apply for disability benefits, visit our Disability Benefits page – and create a personal my Social Security account where you can check the status of your claim and conduct other business. Please share this information with your family and friends – and post it on social media.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Sean

    I am on SSDI since I was 25ish, I am 46 now, fortunately I claimed myself as a dependant and had enough EIC credits (49.5 back then, roughly $99,000 minimum for SSDI).
    When I was 19 I was stationed in Panama, as a Peacekeeper in a Combat Zone. I was an Army Paratrooper. I was injured spinal Cord/ neck and back with migraine like symptoms as well. The Army offered me 10%, I appealed for 30%, and was kicked out without anything not even an honorable Discharge (General) even though I finished my Contract term of Service, which was extended for medical treatment and evaluation, involuntarily. They stated I was medically unfit to be discharged so I signed extension papers for 3 months, 3 times. The V.A. gave me 30% first time, and uped it to 40% first appeal. In 2005 I was given another 10% for headaches, but was taken away when congress changed U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 38, due to to many Veterans.
    The Army, V.A., and Social Security all use the U.S. CFR as a guide for disability requirements, and are basically the same guidelines for all 3 Agencies/Departments.
    The Army gave me nothing, The V.A. gives me 40% ($635) for Spine with one fusion in my neck only, no PTSD or mental. Where SSDI is giving me for PTSD, and Mental Bipolar with Psychotic Episodes not otherwise specified, and no physical, even though they use the same U.S. CFR guidelines for employability, and all this started when I was 19 on Active Duty after a tree landing and some hard falls on the SLT. I believe this is because the V.A. would have to raise their rating if SSA adds for physical, and the V.A. should have to raise thiers for mental also.
    Where as SSDI was a lifesaver it is barely enough to live on or start a family, and I have been homeless several times.

    • Sean

      A follow up, people wrongfully imprisoned have people working on their behalf to get them free, but I feel as there is no way to get out of this Financial prison I am in. Below the poverty limit.
      I was prescribed a walker at 25, refuse to use it so I use a cane. I am already in a Medical prison. It took about 10 years to get used to not working, and the added Depression to already Manic Depression (that’s what Bipolar is).

  2. Anne L.

    I’ve been trying for 7 years to file an application for my father’s benefits. Which I’m pretty sure after all the research I’ve done I am eligible for.
    The first time the lady who help me, had me fill out the WRONG FORMS .
    I received a 1 time payment for $400 & they took this from my mother right after father passed 2013.
    2nd time made an appointment over the phone and then I was not even allowed to fill an application out.
    He simply said that I am not eligible. Asked him to send me proof of what he said was the reason & got nothing.
    Blind since birth filed myself for SSI I was 21
    I really appreciate anyone who may be able to help me out with this
    Been trying & trying.
    2916 to now 5 spine surgeries on top of struggling all the time physically and financially
    God bless any body who reaches out.
    You’ll never know how hard 8 have tried making life happen for me.
    59 years old now
    I pray every day for peace my struggles have been hard for a long time
    God bless you all

    • Anne L.

      59 and getting do very vary tired

      • Sean

        Hang in there Anne, have you tried filling under your parents taxes/SSN, since you were a minor when your disability started, good luck, stay positive, take care.

    • Jeffrey R.

      Hi, Anne L.

      I have read your comments and believe that I may be able to help you. The benefits of which you are seeking are called Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB). Please feel free reach out to me: All America Social Security Disability Representation, llc (AASSDR@yahoo.com) or (720) 475-0440.


      Jeffrey Roberts,
      Jurisconsult/Disability Representative-Advocate

  3. Working P.

    When one works for decades, becomes severely disabled according to SS’s own medical examiners, and then requires disabled people who are fully insured for SSD to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars and appear in court to be badgered by an administrative law judge, one learns that work is a loser’s game. I wonder how somebody gets a compassionate allowance. How much does the lawyer get out of the disabled person’s valid claim to get this done?

  4. Richard C.

    I was recently diagnosed with COPD and Parkinson’s Disease. Do these qualify for Compassionate Allowance?

    • V.V.

      Hi Richard, thanks for using our blog. You may find our listing of impairments useful. 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.

      To learn more about the process we use to decide if someone is disabled under our rules, check out our web page Disability Benefits: How We Decide If You Are Disabled.

  5. Gerald D.

    I suffer from the still much disputed Gulf war illnesses. It never goes away and it never gets better.

    • Sean

      I too may have gulf war syndrome, I wasn’t in the gulf however. I had an Allergic reaction (stroke) when I received the Anthrax Vaccine, and the researchers at West Los Angeles VA thought that the cause may have been the Vaccine. But then 9/11 happened and it was swept under the rug during the confusion, and the Study was stopped for a second time. I have a cousin that has a child with MS, blood related to me, and my Brother in law has a Daughter with MS, both served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield. My ex fiance used to say once in awhile my semen burned/stung her sometimes.
      Jama Fox a reporter from Fox News, was going to do a report on Fox News Network, about this and the neglect and conflict between SSA and VA, and Interviewed me and about 100 other Veterans, including Gulf War Syndrome back in 2001, but it was dropped and swept under the rug due to 9/11. She stated that the network had agreed to get Authorization from the government before reporting it due to national security. This in a country that boast no censorship and freedom of speech. Here it is 30 years later and not much has been done about Gulf war Syndrome, and 20 years since 9/11 and still being censored.

    • Ronda

      The gulf War illness study was a sham. The samples being sent to the Texas lab weren’t being tested, they used an algorithm to send back pos or neg test results.
      I know this because the coordinator that completed the study told me.
      Sadam used so many different types of chemical warfare, your exposure is truly unknown. It’s sad how our government treats the soldiers that fight their political wars for them. Send them instead.
      Drink plenty of water, eat healthy from mother earth, don’t eat dead animals, & get sun on your skin. Beware of what the docs tell you. Med beds are coming to heal the sick. Technology is available to heal- the powers that be want to dumb us down & keep us sickly. Easier to manipulate & control us.

  6. Samia

    If I have breast cancer and now I’m under radiation treatment Ican apply for disability and I have asocial security benefit cause I’m widow

    • V.V.

      Hi Samia, thanks for using our blog. If your deceased spouse worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60. If you are disabled, you could begin receiving benefits as early as age 50, if the disability started before or within 7 years of your spouse’s death. Your survivor benefit amount would be based on your spouse’s earnings. The more they paid into Social Security, the higher your benefits would be. The benefits will not be established automatically, you will have to contact us. To make an appointment to file for survivor benefits, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  7. Joyce S.

    The child tax credit should be considered for adult disabled children, who you claim otherwise, but are not eligible because of their age. They should be eligible to receive the tax credit benefit, as well.

    • ruby

      You are correct. Biden has done nothing for the disabled bc they can’t vote. Seniors who are caring for their disabled adults should have received the same as other families. But we have to remember, it is Biden we’re talking about.

      • Sylvie

        That isn’t true, I am disabled and I am on SSI and I can vote. Why do you say disabled individuals can’t vote?

      • Darling

        @ruby Your ignorance is showing. This has been an issue for decades; well before Biden took office. We need legislators that will work together for the best interest of their constituents, not that of their own self interest or big businesses.

  8. Kerry E.

    There must be serious reform for individuals who, through no fault of their own, are receiving SSD & SSI. They are forced to live BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL. In this country this is shameful. My adult son was maimed as a result of failed back surgery. If he did not live with us he would be homeless. What will happen to him when we die? This keeps thousands of parents up at night & makes us fear for their future.
    It is unconscionable given the current proposed budget that does not address this most serious issue.

    • teresa J.

      Your right I have MS and other nervous conditions as well as kidney failure I’m on ssdi and sometimes I make decisions . so I can make it the whole month . they need to make housing easier for people on ssi or ssdi to get it quickly . so their making decision between paying rent or eating for the month.

      • Sue

        Housing is a joke. I have to make the same decisions as you. Have applied for housing and my Dr. did all the paperwork for emergency housing. I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and I was falling all the time in my old apartment. RSD is also a nervous system disorder. Where I live it’s who you know is the only way to get it. I will say I did not have a problem getting SSDI. But became unable to work anymore too young, so not much of a check. Financial worries all the time.

  9. koichi.igarashi

    I have a lot to know, but I don’t know how. I’m interested.

    • Terri


      • Donna L.

        Hes basically saying he don’t give a f

  10. Jamie n.

    I have a rare inherited disease called Farhs syndrome..its asymptomatic and no cure. I have waited since 2017 for disability I feel like ive been discriminated against due to my age.

    • Jeffrey R.

      The answer as to why you have not received disability at this point is found in your post “it’s asymptomatic”. A diagnosis alone is rarely sufficient to establish disability if that condition is not contemplated in the SSA’s list of Compassionate Allowance Impairments. The blessing, in your particular instance, is that your condition is quiescent. If you would like to discuss your case further, please feel free reach out to me: All America Social Security Disability Representation, llc (AASSDR@yahoo.com) or (720) 475-0440.


      Jeffrey Roberts,
      Jurisconsult/Disability Representative-Advocate

Comments are closed.