The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process can take years to complete. That is why the Social Security Administration (SSA) created the Compassionate Allowance list (CAL). Before starting the application process, it is important to understand what qualifies as a disability and whether your disability is listed on the CAL.
What is the CAL?
The CAL is a record of disabilities that clearly meet all of the qualifications required to receive SSDI benefits. In order to qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of disabled. As reported by the SSA: “The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
- You must have worked in a job covered by Social Security for a certain amount of time.
- You must be unable to do the same work you did before you became disabled.
- You must be unable to do any other jobs.
When it comes to determining whether your ability to work, during the initial claim application, a vocational expert will consider your limitations and how they relate to the capability to perform work.
Conditions on the CAL
The conditions listed on the CAL are generally considered to be severe or fatal illnesses that render the afflicted unable to work. When the CAL was initially released, only 50 conditions were listed. Today, there are well over 200 conditions included in the CAL.
Primarily, the list includes a myriad of cancers, ALS, certain types of muscular dystrophy and muscular atrophy, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and more. Depending on the condition, some are instantly approved with nothing more than a diagnosis. Others require medical records to confirm the severity of the condition. The most recent additions, approved in August 2020, include:
- Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors
- GM1 Gangliosidosis – Infantile and Juvenile Forms
- Nicolaides-Baraister Syndrome
- Rubinstein-Tybai Syndrome
- Secondary Adenocarcinoma of the Brain
Benefits of the Compassionate Allowance Program
The Compassionate Allowance program benefits not only those who qualify for it but everyone who is going through the SSDI application process. The expedited approval of those who qualify for the Compassionate Allowance program allows for an overall shorter wait time for all SSDI applications. Not to mention, those who have conditions on the CAL can receive their benefits sooner rather than later.
The Compassionate Allowance program was designed to expedite SSDI application approval for those with severe or fatal illnesses. If you have been diagnosed with one of the conditions on the CAL and are in the process of applying for SSDI, contact the team of experienced Social Security disability lawyers at Rob Levine & Associates. We can help the process go smoothly and help you get the benefits you deserve.