Many individuals today who have applied for disability benefits often must wait a long time before their application is processed. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has created a program that provides some people with the opportunity to get their applications expedited. It’s referred to as the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program.
But what exactly is the program? And, how does it truly benefit certain disability applicants?
Understanding the CAL program
The Compassionate Allowances program, referred to as the CAL, is a program which lists certain medical conditions that the Social Security Administration considers so critical an impairment that those suffering from any one of those conditions will get their applications fast-tracked through the system.
According to the SSA, the conditions may automatically meet the definition of disability for Social Security’s disability benefit qualification purposes and therefore those eligible applicants would not have to go through the typically long process of disability determination. Applicants with conditions listed on the CAL can receive their benefits within weeks rather than months.
The SSA launched the program in recognition that there are individuals struggling with immediate and critically debilitating conditions which upon fast analysis would meet the definition of disability. A faster decision may ease stress levels and the quality of life for so many who don’t have much time left, instead of forcing them to wait for their applications to be reviewed through the typical process.
Is your condition on the CAL?
Such conditions on the CAL can include but are not limited to Parkinson’s disease, pancreatic cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, among others. And, just recently, the SSA has expanded the Compassionate Allowances List to include 25 new conditions.
The SSA compiles the conditions on the list based on ongoing research from the National Institute of Health, public outreach hearings, scientific and medical expert advice, and other information. The agency updates the list as needed.
Individuals struggling with any disability are encouraged to visit the SSA website to locate the entire list of conditions on the Compassionate Allowances List. Their condition may be one of the 25 newly listed.
It’s also important to note that veterans will also be included in the CAL program. The SSA recently announced that military personnel deemed 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans who are applying for disability benefits will now be eligible for expedited processing.
The help of a Social Security Disability attorney
Individuals planning to apply for disability benefits should understand that the application process is extremely complex. It’s important to consult with someone experienced in field. Seeking the guidance of a Social Security Disability attorney who understands the detailed areas of the law and can help navigate the procedures is advised.