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Social Security News

New Compassionate Allowance Conditions Added by Social Security for SSI, SSDI Programs

May make many low income seniors eligible for additional benefits

Jan. 16, 2014 – Twenty-five new Compassionate Allowances conditions, including a dozen cancers, bringing the total number of conditions to 225, were announced today by Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.  The CLA program expedites disability decisions for Americans with the most serious disabilities to ensure that they receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years. This applies to senior citizens – age 65 - or older, blind, or disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources who may be eligible for benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs.

The new conditions also include disorders that affect the digestive, neurological, immune, and multiple body systems. (Complete list below, followed by information on the programs.)

“We are dedicated to providing vulnerable Americans with faster access to disability benefits through our Compassionate Allowances program,” said Colvin. “Social Security disability benefits are a vital lifeline for individuals who are facing severe diseases and we must ensure that they receive the benefits they rightly deserve.”  

The Compassionate Allowances program identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. By incorporating cutting-edge technology, the agency can easily identify potential Compassionate Allowances and quickly make decisions. To date, almost 200,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this fast-track disability process. 

The Compassionate Allowances program is a significant initiative that highlights collaboration between government, medical experts, advocacy groups, and members of the public. Social Security has conducted public outreach hearings and gathered feedback from various stakeholders to identify conditions that are most likely to meet the agency’s definition of disability.

“I am extremely pleased that the SSA has included Prostate Cancer in its Compassionate Allowance list – a decision that will save lives, and give more patients access to treatment options,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD). “Working with constituents fighting this disease, I know just how life altering it can be, as well as how many will benefit from this change in policy.”

New Compassionate Allowances Conditions

  1. Angiosarcoma

  2. Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor

  3. Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

  4. Coffin- Lowry Syndrome

  5. Esthesioneuroblastoma

  6. Giant Axonal Neuropathy

  7. Hoyeaal-Hreidarsson Syndrome

  8. Intracranial Hemangiopericytoma

  9. Joubert Syndrome

  10. Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis

  11. Liposarcoma- metastatic or recurrent

  12. Malignant Ectomesenchymoma

  13. Malignant Renal Rhabdoid Tumor

  14. Marshall-Smith Syndrome

  15. Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor- Grade III

  16. Pallister-Killian Syndrome

  17. Progressive Bulbar Palsy

  18. Prostate Cancer - Hormone Refractory Disease - or with visceral metastases

  19. Revesz Syndrome

  20. Seckel Syndrome

  21. Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome

  22. Small Cell Cancer of the Thymus

  23. Soft Tissue Sarcoma- with distant metastases or recurrent

  24. X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease

  25. X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy

About CAL, SSI and SSDI

Social Security has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards. 


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also check Medicare and Senior Politics


Unfortunately, being diagnosed with a CAL condition does not provide additional money above what an individual is eligible for under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs. CAL simply speeds up the receipt of a decision on the claim.

The Compassionate Allowances (CAL) initiative is a way to expedite the processing of SSDI and SSI disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security's definition of disability. It is not a separate program from SSA's two disability programs, SSDI and SSI.

The SSI program makes payments to those age 65 or older, blind, or disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources. Even though Social Security manages the program, SSI is not paid for by Social Security taxes. SSI is paid for by U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust funds. Many states pay a supplemental benefit to persons in addition to their Federal benefits. Some of these states have made arrangements with us to combine their supplemental payment with our Federal SSI payment into one monthly check to you. Other states manage their own programs and make their payments separately. Title XVI of the Social Security Act authorizes SSI benefits.

SSDI provides benefits to disabled or blind persons who are "insured" by the workers' contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These contributions are based on the workers' earnings (or those of your spouse or parents) as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Title II of the Social Security Act authorizes SSDI benefits. Your dependents may also be eligible for benefits from your earnings record..

Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs. 

CAL conditions are selected using information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, counsel of medical and scientific experts, and our research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Also, we consider which conditions are most likely to meet our current definition of disability. 

Social Security has held seven Compassionate Allowances public outreach hearings. The hearings were on rare diseases, cancers, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke, early-onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease and multiple organ transplants and autoimmune diseases. 

 On Thursday, December 6, 2012, SSA held an event at the Hart Senate Building, room 902, at 10:00 a.m. in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the milestone of reaching 200 Compassionate Allowances conditions. These conditions involve cancers and neurological and other rare diseases affecting adults and children.

How to Apply

There is no special application or form that is unique to the CAL initiative. Individuals with a CAL condition apply for benefits using the standard SSA process for filing claims for SSDI, SSI, or both SSDI and SSI benefits. SSA will expedite the applications of those with a CAL condition. Applications for disability may be filed online, in the local field office, or by calling our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213. To learn how to apply for disability benefits please click How You Apply.

For more information on the program, including a list of all Compassionate Allowances conditions, please visit


Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners

You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.

In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.

They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.

If you owned or leased one of these vehicles, contact us now.

 Beth Janicek, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Janicek Law attorneys are actively pursuing these cases against VW. Do Not Wait...

Janicek Law Firm, PC

Free Consultation

(Call toll free)

1-877-795-3425 or Email

Vehicles Involved

VW Jetta (2009–2015)

VW Jetta SportWagen (2009–2014)

VW Golf (2010-2015)

VW Golf SportWagen (2015)

VW Beetle (2012–2015)

VW Passat (2012-2015)

Audi A3 (2010-2015)

VW Touareg (2009–2016)

Porsche Cayenne (2015)

Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 Quattro (2016)


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