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. BeastRoids

    nice words

    thanks for sharing

  2. James D.

    I assited my wife in applying for SSDI under the Compassionate Allowance Program. She has been approved to receive benefits but still is subject to the 5- month waiting period. We appreciate the expedited review but why does she have to wait so long to receive benefits. Also, how long will she receive the benefits once they begin.

    • A.C.

      Hi, James. For your wife’s security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. She can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, she will have a shorter wait if she calls later in the day. She can also contact her local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  3. Medra

    I’m writing on behalf of my daughter. She has stage four cancer and is a single parent of a six year old. She is currently working to keep her insurance but can not go to get her chemotherapy or to doctors appointments because her job is giving her a hard time. I seems like because they know she’s in desperate need they uses her and treat her badly. She wants to apply for disability but we need help. Will she have to quit her job? They seem like they want to fire her any day now because her sons school is closed due to Covid19 and she have to stay home with him. Can you tell us how to go forward

    • A.C.

      Hi, Medra. We are sorry to hear about your daughter’s condition and situation. Disability benefits are paid 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. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI), and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a needs-based disability program that pays benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. The SSDI program provides benefits to insured disabled or blind adults covered by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust funds. If she feels that she meets our definition of disability, she can apply online. We hope this information helps.

  4. CJ

    Hi, I helped my husband file for SSDI back in April 2021. As of today, Jan. 5, 2022, he has not heard anything whether he has been approve or disapproved. I know that it takes DDS forever to get thru disability applications but 8 months without any response is a long time. On his SS sign on page, it has said the same thing for months. By now beginning of the 9th month, I think he should have received some response from DDS. The only response received from TX DDS was a Letter telling him he needed to call them by Nov.1, 2021 in regards to doctors he had seen. Did not received letter until Oct. 31, 2021. Short notice but got it done. Only ask him for the hospital where he had surgery. Really don’t understand what is taking DDS forever to make a decision on his case….. I know the pandemic has made things slower but work still has to be done and completed efficiently. Please help me to understand the hold up…..

    • V.V.

      Hi CJ, thanks for using our blog. Please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

  5. John

    This process of quickly qualifying certain conditions helps the department address barriers by accelerating the disability application process for those approved for benefits due to the severity of their medical condition. “Everyone who is eligible for benefits under the programs we administer should receive them,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. I get this info from this source: https://bit.ly/3dOx8aw Thanks

    • Danny B.

      Hello, if this is true why is it taking social security so long to approve my disability claim? My condition is listed as one of the conditions in compassionate allowances for automatic approval and I have submitted medical records showing this, and I am still told that one of their doctors has to review my medical records and has taken over 4 months to do so.

      • A.C.

        Hi, Danny. Typically, you can expect to hear a decision on your disability claim in three to five months after you submit your application. However, this can vary depending on the nature of your disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical source, and whether it is necessary to send you for a medical examination in order to obtain evidence to support your claim. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application.  Please contact your local Social Security office for further assistance. We hope this helps. 

  6. Todd

    I filed for SSDI in June 2021 and was just awarded it in Oct 2021 due to being 100% permanent and total disabled in the military. I was approved for SSDI. Do I get back pay from June 2021 on my first check? I was told yes and I was told no. This is SSDI. Confused!?

    • V.V.

      Hi Todd, thanks for using our blog. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have a five month waiting period, which means that benefit payments will not begin before the sixth full month of disability. The SSDI waiting period begins with the first full month after the date we decide your disability began. You’ll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. 

      You can log in to or create a my Social Security account to check the status of your application online.

      If you are unable to check your status online or have additional questions, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance 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.

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