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Does the SSA expedite certain claims for SSD benefits?

Many people in Columbus, Ohio, rely on Social Security disability benefits at some point in their lives. The reasons for applying for SSD benefits can vary: some may need the money after retirement, while others may need it because of a disabling illness. The Social Security Administration provides these benefits after determining a person’s eligibility. The entire determination process can sometimes take as long as a year before the claimant receives benefits.

To address this concern for some people who are seriously ill, the SSA runs the Compassionate Allowances program, or CAL. The main purpose of CAL is to identify diseases that clearly cause impairment. By implementing this program, the SSA is able to identify obviously disabled individuals for whom benefits should be expedited.

To determine the medical conditions for CAL, the SSA relies on information gathered from public outreach hearings; various communities of the Disability Determination Services, in addition to its own communities; consultations with experts in the fields of science and medicine; and research conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. CAL checks how closely the gathered information conforms to the SSA’s own definition of disability. It then finalizes the list of compassionate allowances.

Some of the disabling medical conditions that that are part of CAL are certain cancers, traumatic brain injuries, heart stroke and some other heart diseases, dementia, multiple organ transfers, autoimmune diseases and certain rare diseases. A complete list of CAL conditions can be found on the SSA website. The SSA revises the list of CAL conditions from time to time so that all critical medical conditions are included.

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