Compassionate Allowances and How They’re Determined

Compassionate Allowances and How They’re Determined

If you or a loved one has a disability that is severe enough to require immediate medical and financial attention, you may qualify for the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program through the Social Security Administration.

If you are suffering from a condition that qualifies for the CAL program, it can speed up the disability determination process so you can receive benefits sooner. It applies whether you are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

What conditions qualify as Compassionate Allowances conditions? 

There is a wide range of conditions covered under the CAL program. The program includes “diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information.” In other words, the conditions on the list obviously qualify for disability benefits.

The SSA includes conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list based on information from the following. 

  • Public outreach hearings
  • Comments from Social Security and the Disability Determination Services
  • Medical and scientific expert counsel
  • Research


The full list of Compassionate Allowances conditions is included on the Social Security Administration website. It includes conditions affecting a variety of body systems and contains conditions affecting both juveniles and adults.

Applying for Disability Benefits with a Compassionate Allowances Condition 

The process for applying for disability benefits is the same for a person with a Compassionate Allowances condition as it is for someone without one. Applications are filed using the standard application form for either SSDI or SSI. These applications can be filed at a local Social Security office or online. This is a process with which an attorney can be of help.

The application process requires information about yourself and your condition, information about your family members who may qualify for benefits, and proof of your qualifying condition in the form of medical records from doctors. The SSA will expedite the application if the applicant has a condition on the CAL list.

Additionally, it is important to note that being diagnosed with a CAL condition will not award you more money than you would normally be awarded under a standard SSDI or SSI claim. Furthermore, having a qualifying CAL condition does not automatically make you eligible to receive benefits. It can only speed up the process.

How long does it take to process a Compassionate Allowances claim? 

While the average disability claim takes months to process – and sometimes longer depending upon the circumstances – a claim for a person with a CAL condition may receive a decision within a matter of weeks.

Things that can influence the speed of application process include how quickly medical documents are received, whether an additional medical examination is necessary, and whether or not the application was filled out in full. 

The SSA will not notify you if it selects your disability claim for fast-track processing. Rather, you will only receive notice if it requires more information, or once it has approved or denied or denied your claim.

Talk to an Attorney about an Application Involving a CAL Condition 

If you have a disability or condition that renders you disabled, the attorneys at Rob Levine & Associates understand how important it is that you get the financial help that you require.

We can help ensure your application for a Compassionate Allowances condition – or other disability not on the CAL list – is filled out in full and can help you appeal denied applications.

If you need disability benefits for your condition, we’re ready to fight for your rights. To get started on filing your claim today, call us at 866-LAW-SSDI (529-7734) to set up a consultation.

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