If you have suffered a disabling injury or illness and can no longer work, you know how important it is to obtain help. You need medical assistance to help with your medical condition, and because you cannot work, you also need financial assistance. You may even be aware of programs such as the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability insurance program.
Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) offers benefits to workers who no longer have the ability to work, either because of a physical or mental impairment. The SSDI is an insurance program and you pay “premiums” while you work as part of your FICA tax deduction. While you never have to “apply” to be accepted into the program, you do have to complete the lengthy application process in order to receive benefits.
And for those with very serious conditions, that can be a problem. Your illness or injury can make activities that had been easy, much more difficult and time consuming. Fortunately, for some of the most serious medical conditions, the SSA created the Compassionate Allowance program, which fast-tracks those applications.
This enables applicants to obtain benefits within weeks, instead of the months, or in the case of those who must appeal a denial of their initial application, years. However, the Compassionate Allowance fast-track process does not lessen the standards for eligibility that you must meet in order to receive your benefits.
Many applicants find the process moves forward much more smoothly with legal assistance from an attorney, as the application for a compassionate allowance still demands the same rigorous levels of medical evidence, which demonstrates your disabling condition, and even simply errors can lead to a denial of a claim.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “‘Compassionate allowances’ fast-track applications for disability benefits,” Judi Hasson, Kiplinger Retirement Report, May 14, 2014