One of the requirements needed to meet the statutory definition of disability for purposes of the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program is that the disorder or medical condition needs to have prevented you from working for at least one year or will prevent you working for the next year, or lead to the applicant’s death.
The presumption behind the program is that most applicants have truly serious, permanently disabling conditions from which they will never improve or it is a terminal condition that will lead to their death.
Because of this, many applicants, in addition to needing the financial assistance SSDI provides, often lack another important resource: time. For someone diagnosed with a severe case of lung disease, or a heart condition, time is most definitely not on his or her side.
The complicated nature of the application for SSDI benefits means it is easy to make a mistake, forget some necessary document or some other information that results in your application being denied.
These types of delays for some applicants are tragic, and to minimize these situations, the Social Security Administration (SSA) created the Compassionate Allowances program. This program is recognizes disabling medical disorders that clearly meet the statutory definition of disabling under the listing of impairments.
The SSA is constantly updating the conditions that qualify for the compassionate allowances. For all their bureaucratic cumbersomeness, they really do see their mission as providing SSDI benefits to seriously disabled workers as quickly as possible.
This month, the SSA announced the addition of anther 25 disorders that will enable applicants to quickly obtain SSDI benefits. Prostate cancer is perhaps the best known, and if you have questions if your medical condition may qualify, an attorney who works with SSDI applicants or the SSA can answer that question and provide help on the type of information the agency will need to make your determination of eligibility.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions,” January 15, 2014