Diseases and disabling conditions are constantly evolving. There are so many things, both known and unknown, that can affect someone's ability to work. Medical knowledge struggles to keep up with these evolving conditions.
Over time, however, a considerable body of medical knowledge has been built up indicating when people with disabling conditions should become eligible for much-needed Social Security disability insurance benefits. If someone has a condition that corresponds to one of those known conditions, it shouldn't always be necessary to reinvent the wheel in order to get the application ball rolling.
This is where Compassionate Allowances come in. These allowances - known as CAL - are a way for the Social Security Administration to expedite the application process for impairments suffered by people who are the most obviously disabled.
The CAL allowances are not a separate program from SSD or SSDI. Rather, they are a way for the SSA to facilitate the processing of someone's claim, based on quickly obtained medical evidence.
The list of conditions that meet the criteria for Compassionate Allowances is developed through a rigorous process. This includes public hearings, the receipt of comments from the disability community and input from medical experts. Research from the National Institutes of Health also plays a role, as does SSA's emerging understanding of which conditions are most likely to qualify under the agency's current definition of disability.
Next week, the SSA will hold an event in Washington, DC to mark the milestone of having identified 200 conditions that meet the criteria for Compassionate Allowances.
Source: "Compassionate Allowances," Social Security Online
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Michigan Social Security disability page.