Ohio residents who suffer from certain medical conditions may have their Social Security disability claims expedited if the condition is so severe that it obviously meets disability SSD requirements. An award of disability benefits based on one of these conditions is called a compassionate allowance or CAL. CALs are not separate from Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs; rather, CALs provide an accelerated method for having a claim considered and approved.
The SSA has compiled a list of diseases and other medical conditions that invariably meet the medical requirements for Social Security disability eligibility using only minimal objective medical information. CAL conditions are selected by the SSA using information gathered at public outreach hearings and information and comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, medical and scientific experts, and the National Institutes of Health. A few of the conditions that qualify for CALs are acute leukemia, inoperable bladder or breast cancer, heart transplant wait list, malignant melanoma and mesothelioma. The SSA is constantly adding conditions to this list.
No special application is required for a CAL. The standard application form can be used, and SSA will determine whether the condition that caused the disability is eligible to be treated as a CAL. CAL claims are usually decided in a matter of weeks instead of the months or years required to process ordinary disability claims. Persons who have a CAL condition will receive the same SSD benefits as a person with a non-CAL condition, but the payment of benefits for a CAL condition will begin much earlier.
As with all disability claims, the success of an application for disability benefits based upon a CAL condition depends upon the supporting information that is submitted to the SSA. Anyone contemplating making a claim for SSD benefits will benefit from consulting a lawyer who specializes in handling SSD/SSI benefits. A knowledgeable attorney can assist an applicant with assembling the supporting medical and occupational evidence and can also pursue an appeal if the initial claim is denied.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Compassionate Allowances,” accessed on May 30, 2016