Disability, General, Online Services

How Our Expanded Compassionate Allowances Program Helps People with Severe Disabilities

August 16, 2021 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

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


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  1. 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!?

    • Vonda

      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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