What are 'Compassionate Allowances'?

If you suffer from a serious illness or injury that prevents you from working, the last thing you probably want to do is navigate a complicated legal system to access disability benefits you know you deserve.

While hundreds of thousands of people are stuck waiting for decisions on Social Security disability benefits, it can be critical to understand if you are eligible for expedited decisions and benefits through the Compassionate Allowances program, or CAL.

What is CAL?

As noted on the Social Security Administration's website, the CAL initiative is a program that expedites benefits for people who clearly meet the agency's criteria for disability. When a person submits an application that includes certain diseases or conditions, the application moves into a priority group. These applications have much shorter waiting times and result in getting benefits to the applicants much more quickly.

Do I qualify for this status?

In order to qualify for CAL, you must have a condition that appears on the list of Compassionate Allowance conditions. The list includes various types of cancers, neurological diseases and rare illnesses that typically affect children. 

What other steps can I take to secure benefits more quickly?

Even if you have an illness or condition that is not on Compassionate Allowances list, you can submit it for consideration. The SSA continues to add new conditions to its list, so submitting a name of a condition for consideration can be crucial in helping to get it recognized.

You can also work with an attorney when submitting your application for disability benefits. Whether you are eligible for CAL or not, you can avoid costly mistakes that delay your case or ultimately lead to a rejected claim. Having legal guidance throughout this process can allow you to stay focused on your health instead of navigating the complicated, frustrating legal system.

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