The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the addition of five new conditions to its compassionate allowance list. Compassionate allowances are a tool the SSA uses to pre-screen certain physical and mental conditions that qualify for SSD benefits, sometimes based only on the applicant's medical diagnosis. The SSA has been using the compassionate allowances for nearly a decade. The purpose is to streamline cases where the individual has a serious disability that, by its nature, clearly meets the qualifications for SSD. The new conditions include the following:
- Megalencephaly capillary malformation syndrome (MCAP)
- Superficial siderosis of the central nervous system
- Megacystis microcolon intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome (MMIHS)
- Fibrolamellar cancer
- Tetrasomy 18p
There are now 233 qualifying conditions on the list. Other conditions on the list include severe diseases such as early-onset Alzheimer's, ALS, and several types of cancer.
Definition of disability
The SSA defines disability as a physical or mental condition that keeps you from working for a year or more. You must not be able to do any of the jobs you have done in the past, nor can you retrain for a new job. Some of the factors they consider are your ability to:
These are just a few examples of issues that can keep people from employment. Applicants must meet several other criteria in addition to having a defined disability. Generally, you must have paid social security through your work history in order to qualify. Disabled children and widows of SSD recipients may qualify, however, depending on their circumstances.
Quick disability determinations (QDD)
In addition to compassionate allowances, the SSA also attempts to expedite the application and approval process by using a computer screening program to identify conditions that are likely to meet the SSA's qualifications. They can then expedite those applicants through the system. Electronic medical records have helped the SSA speed up the process of determining eligibility. Otherwise, the SSA waits weeks for medical records before it can decide how to proceed.
If you are considering applying for SSD benefits, you may want to consider whether your condition could qualify for expedited processing and take the time to learn the best way to ensure your qualification.