Expediting SSDI applications through the Compassionate Allowances Program

The Compassionate Allowances Program allows people who have certain chronic conditions to move quickly through the application process.

People in Tennessee who have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance may have to wait for over a year before finding out whether they have been approved for SSDI benefits. A significant backlog in SSDI applications has some people waiting for years to receive disability benefits. During this time, disabled people may be unable to make ends meet.

In some cases, people pass away before their applications are ever fully processed. The SSA reported that 2,000 cases were discharged in 2011 because the applicant died. Sadly, they were never able to receive the financial assistance they needed. In an attempt to process SSDI applications more efficiently, the SSA developed the Compassionate Allowances Program.

What is the Compassionate Allowances Program?

The Compassionate Allowances program targets people who suffer from chronic and terminal conditions. These select conditions clearly meet the disability standards set by the Social Security Administration, and can therefore be expedited through the application process. Rather than wait for a year or more to hear whether a disability claim has been approved, people are able to receive their SSDI benefits in just a few weeks through the Compassionate Allowances Program.

Medical conditions and disabilities

The medical conditions and disabilities that qualify for the Compassionate Allowances Program are chosen using several different methods. The SSA seeks assistance from medical and scientific experts, the National Institutes of Health and input from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services when determining what conditions to include on the Compassionate Allowances List. Public outreach hearings are also held periodically, allowing people to voice their opinions on what conditions they believe should be covered. While there are some rare conditions represented on the list, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, cancers, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and multiple organ transplants are included on the list as well.

How to apply for benefits under the program

Compassionate Allowances applicants begin by filling out a SSDI application form. Once the information is submitted to the SSA, people with approved conditions will be expedited through the application process. The time in which it takes the SSA to process the application may depend on the following:

  • Whether the application is filled out properly and completely, including all necessary medical information.
  • How quickly the medical information can be verified through the applicant's team of medical professionals.
  • Whether an additional medical examination is required.

Applications that are randomly chosen for quality assurance reviews may take additional time to process.

Tennessee residents who wish to apply for SSDI benefits may want to contact an attorney. A Social Security Disability lawyer can ensure that all of your paperwork is filled out correctly. They can also help to avoid any delays in processing your application.

Keywords: Social Security, SSDI, disability