If you suffer from a medical condition resulting from an illness or accident, you understand how difficult life can be. Perhaps you are no longer able to work, which makes it challenging to make ends meet. You may have limited resources, and this is prompting you to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
You may have heard horror stories about the amount of time it takes for the SSA to process and evaluate a claim, and that the agency does not accept most first-time claims. If your condition is severe or you are in the final stages of an illness that will likely be terminal, waiting months for approval may be something you cannot do. Fortunately, the SSA's Compassionate Allowance program may work to your advantage.
Putting your application on the fast track
Compassionate allowance recognizes that certain medical conditions quickly meet the standards for eligibility for disability benefits. This means that your condition prevents you from working and that it will last longer than one year or prove fatal to you. Many applicants must go through a thorough evaluation to demonstrate that they meet these qualifications. However, if you have any of the following conditions, the SSA may approve your application within days instead of months:
- Rare genetic diseases like Pearson Syndrome and others found in children
- Certain aggressive forms of cancer that include acute leukemia and adult Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Degenerating neurological diseases, including early-onset Alzheimer's disease
- Rare or aggressive diseases that cause immunodeficiency, such as Multicentric Castleman disease
- Certain heart and brain conditions or injuries, including if you are on a waiting list for a heart transplant
The results of qualifying for CAL are that you will not have to wait the months it normally takes for approval for benefits. If the SSA approves your application, you will still have to wait five months before receiving your benefits, but that will still be considerably shorter than the normal waiting period.
While the SSA is always adding new conditions to the list of those eligible for the CAL program, currently there are 230 that the agency has programmed its software to recognize and flag in applications for disability. This means you do not have to do anything special to qualify for CAL, but the way you prepare your application could have a direct effect on your consideration for compassionate allowance. Having an Alabama legal professional to assist you through the process may increase your chances of a quick approval.