Getting a decision on disability benefits can take several months or longer. Once approved, many Utah residents have to wait another month or two for their first monthly payment. Back pay typically takes even longer to arrive.
Hearing this, you may wonder if there’s a faster route to financial assistance from the Social Security Administration. The answer is yes – through the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program, some people automatically qualify for disability benefits. Here’s a look at how the program works.
The Compassionate Allowances Program
The Compassionate Allowances program was designed to help people with serious and obvious disabilities get the benefits they need more quickly.
Applicants who provide the SSA with medical data proving that they have a condition that is on the Compassionate Allowance list (CAL) can get approved for disability benefits in as little as 10 days.
Those who automatically qualify for disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program are issued their first payment the month after their claim is approved. However, for beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), a waiting period still applies – payments don’t begin until five months after the disability onset date.
Conditions that Qualify for Compassionate Allowances
The disabling conditions on the CAL are among the most serious, and includes issues that cause ongoing difficulties for the claimant as well as diseases and disorders that are expected to result in death. Here are some of the conditions that generally qualify for a compassionate allowance:
- Acute leukemia
- Cancer in an advanced stage
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Lewy body dementia
- Pericardial mesothelioma
- Refractory Hodgkin lymphoma
- Spinal muscular atrophy
For some of the conditions on the CAL, providing a diagnosis and supporting evidence is sufficient to automatically qualify for disability benefits. For others, claimants must meet specific criteria to qualify.
Meeting the SSA’s Standards for Disability Benefits
If you have a disease, disorder or disability that has been designated as a Compassionate Allowance, you stand a strong chance of automatically qualifying for benefits. Your medical records must support your claim, of course, but you can look forward to being on the fast track for an approval.
What if your condition isn’t on the CAL? If you’re unable to work, you may still be eligible for disability benefits. The SSA has a guide called the Blue Book, and if you meet the criteria in the listing for your particular condition, you can get approved. If not, your physician can complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment that details your work limitations and you may qualify through a medical vocational allowance.
Let Mountain West Disability Get Your Claim Underway
Are you disabled? If you can’t earn an income, you can count on Mountain West Disability to help you get the benefits you need as quickly as possible. Our highly experienced team of disability advocates will handle every aspect of your claim, and you won’t pay us a fee until you get paid.
For a free case evaluation and answers to all of your questions about disability benefits, contact our office in Murray, Utah, today.