Social Security disability and compassionate allowances

The sudden onset of an injury or illness can leave an individual with a lot to consider. First and foremost, they will need to consider how best to treat their condition, and the options might be extensive. Additionally, they will probably need to consider their financial situation. While some individuals are able to continue working while they receive treatment, others are rendered unable to work. Under the Social Security Administration's disability program, these individuals may be considered "disabled" and, therefore, qualify for SSD benefits.

Many initial SSD claims are rejected for a variety of reasons, but, if an individual suffers from a serious medical condition, then they may qualify for a compassionate allowance. Compassionate allowances are the SSA's attempt to quickly grant SSD benefits to those who are obviously disabled. The SSA uses easily obtainable objective medical information to determine whether a compassionate allowance can be granted, and the SSA lists many of these conditions on its website.

Whereas, regular applicants can wait months before obtaining SSD benefits, those seeking a compassionate allowance may have a decision on their claim within a matter of weeks. However, the actual decision timeline depends on a number of factors, including the speed with which the SSA can gather medical documentation, whether a medical examination is deemed necessary, and whether the claim is randomly selected for audit. However, those who believe they qualify for a compassionate allowance should not hesitate to pursue it, as it could allow them to recover much needed compensation faster.

As great as compassionate allowances are, they are subject to denial from time-to-time, just like regular claims. Therefore, those who want to pursue a disability claim, whether via regular claim or a compassionate allowance, need to ensure that they are putting forth the strongest case possible given their circumstances. Whether one is making a first attempt or is appealing a denial, a legal professional may be able to help draft a compelling claim.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Compassionate Allowances," accessed on March 27, 2017

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