Social Security Adds New Compassionate Allowances Conditions, Including Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced on Thursday, February 11, 2010, that the agency is adding 38 more conditions to its list of Compassionate Allowances conditions. This is the first expansion of the list of Compassionate Allowances conditions since the original list of 50 conditions – 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers – was announced in October 2008. There are now 88 conditions that have been included as part of the Compassionate Allowances Initiative.

SSA’s Compassionate Allowances Initiative is a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the agency’s Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. The Compassionate Allowances Initiative allows SSA to quickly target the most obviously disabled individuals for immediate approval of pending disability claims based on objective medical information that can quickly be obtained.

The 38 new conditions range from adult brain disorders to rare diseases that primarily affect children. The complete list of the new Compassionate Allowances conditions is attached.

SSA has added early-onset Alzheimer’s disease to the list of conditions under its Compassionate Allowances Initiative.  Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits based upon disability are very important to individuals with early-onset (younger-onset) Alzheimer’s and related dementias who are often initially denied benefits but usually win on appeal. By adding early-onset Alzheimer’s disease to the list of Compassionate Allowances conditions, it is hoped that the SSDI/SSI application process will be simplified and streamlined, resulting in the applicant receiving SSDI/SSI benefits faster.

In addition to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, there are four “related dementias” on the Compassionate Allowances list. They are: frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – Pick’s disease, Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease, mixed-dementia and primary progressive aphasia.

I previously blogged about SSA’s Compassionate Allowances Initiative here – Social Security Announces Nationwide Launch of Compassionate Allowances Initiative

UPDATED ON JULY 19, 2011: On July 14, 2011, the Social Security Administration added 12 new medical conditions to its list of Compassionate Allowances conditions, bringing to 100 the total number of impairments recognized as so severely disabling that pending disability claims are subject to immediate approval by the agency.The complete list of the 100 Compassionate Allowances conditions is attached.