For years now, people filing for disability benefits have had to wait in longer and longer lines as the list of claimants continues to grow. And even with the announcement of fast tracking applications, the backlog doesn’t appear to be shrinking as quickly as the Social Security Administration had hoped.
In another push to help disabled people collect their benefits faster, Michael J. Asture, the Commissioner of Social Security, announced this month that the SSA has added an additional 35 conditions to their Compassionate Allowances list. The Compassionate Allowances list is a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that meet the SSA’s standards of a disability. By expanding the list, the agency is creating a quick-reference sheet for workers who will be processing claims, shortening the wait time from a few years to a few weeks.
Since its inception in October 2008, Astrue explains that nationwide almost 200,000 people with severe disabilities have been quickly approved, usually within a few weeks of submitting their application. By referencing the list, Social Security workers are able to eliminate a part of the application process that often times took weeks or longer to complete.
There are now 200 diseases and conditions listed under Compassionate Allowances, including several forms of cancer, Huntington’s Disease, a series of conditions that can cause a variety of impairments such as epilepsy, mental retardation, and some rare genetic disorders as well.
According to the SSA, the Compassionate Allowances list has allowed the agency to streamline the disability application process allowing them to better serve the people who rely on these benefits to go about their daily lives.
Source: The Social Security Administration, “Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions,” Press Release, Dec. 6, 2012