Most Oregon residents who have applied for Social Security Disability benefits or who successfully appealed a denied claim know it can be a very confusing process that may take several years to complete. For some people, however — those with illnesses or medical conditions included in the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances program — the process for obtaining disability benefits can be much faster and simpler.
As it so happens, May is National ALS Awareness Month, an annual effort to raise public awareness and spur new research aimed at finding a cure for — or at least minimizing the impact of this debilitating condition for the roughly 30,000 Americans who suffer from it. As it also happens, ALS is one of the conditions included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program.
The SSA started the program in 2008 with a list of 50 different medical conditions and has since approved more than 170,000 applications with its fast-track review process for applicants with medical conditions that clearly meet the federal agency’s definition of disability.
Later this summer, Aug. 1 to be exact, the SSA will add 52 more conditions to the Compassionate Allowances list, bringing the total number of medical conditions and illnesses on the list to 165.
This is good news for those suffering from ALS, or from any other condition included in the program. It means not having to wait several months to learn whether the SSA will approve a claim or several years to receive Social Security Disability benefit payments. This alone can relieve a tremendous amount of stress and allow people to focus their energies on more important and helpful tasks.
Source: Wausau Daily Herald, “Faster disability approval for people with ALS,” Ken Hess, May 17, 2012