The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced the addition of 38 conditions to its Compassionate Allowance list.
Online PR News – 12-March-2010 – – The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced the addition of 38 conditions to its Compassionate Allowance list, increasing the number of disabled Americans eligible for speedy approval of social security disability benefits. The recognition and identification of these conditions, ranging from adult brain disorders to rare youth diseases, went into effect March 1, 2010.
“The addition of these new conditions expands the scope of Compassionate Allowances to a broader subgroup of conditions, like early-onset Alzheimer’s disease,” said Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
According to SSA, Compassionate Allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that qualify under the Listing of Impairments, based on objective medical information.
SSA implemented its original Compassionate Allowance initiative in October 2008. At that time, the list consisted of 50 conditions: 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers. Rather than waiting months, and often years, for a hearing, individuals with these conditions could qualify for expedited review and approval of their disability claims, sometimes in a matter of days.
While many Americans are struggling in these difficult economic times, those with severe illnesses or injuries face nearly insurmountable challenges. The loss of employment income along with enormous medical treatment costs can quickly exhaust all their financial resources. Thus, SSA’s expansion of expedited processing will offer much-needed relief to disabled individuals and their families.
An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Americans could benefit from the expansion in the year 2010 alone. The SSA received 3.3 million claims in 2009.
“Many Americans do not realize that they may have a legal right to the disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA),” said Mark Bernstein, a Michigan social security attorney at The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “This federal government agency provides social security benefit programs to individuals with serious disabilities and to their families. The expansion of benefits to another 38 conditions will help ease the financial suffering of many more disabled individuals with fewer delays.”
Social Security Disability Benefits are available to disabled workers who had enough earnings to meet Social Security Administration (SSA) requirements. As a general rule, individuals who worked for 5 out of the last 10 years qualify. A person who meets the SSA earnings threshold is eligible for benefits if he or she is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity, due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which can be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.