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Compassionate Allowances speed award of SSDI benefits

Obtaining benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for a disability that leaves a worker unable to continue their employment is not easy. With all of the news regarding fraud by some people in connection with alleged disabilities, there is good reason why the application process for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is so rigorous.

This is, of course, cold comfort for the millions of genuinely disabled, who may often struggle with their day-to-day activities, such as going to the store to buy groceries or needing to get to their doctor's office for a treatment or exam. The added hassle of dealing with the complex bureaucracy of the SSA is sometimes more than our clients can manage on their own. Which is why they come to us.

But the SSA does attempt to make it easier for some disabled workers to obtain their benefits. They maintain a list, known as the Compassionate Allowances. If your disease or medical condition is on that list, your likelihood of receiving SSDI is greatly improved and the time in which you will have to wait before your first benefit payment arrives should be reduced.

The SSA recently announced that it has added prostate cancer to the list of Compassionate Allowances. As usual, it is not just any diagnosis of prostate cancer that will qualify. It has to be either recurrent or metastasized beyond the prostate to other organs or bones.

In addition to prostate cancer, 25 other conditions, including 12 cancers have been added to the Compassionate Allowances. Even if you believe your condition will qualify for a Compassionate Allowance, you may need legal assistance with your application, as the claim has to be completed properly for the SSA to approve the award of SSDI benefits.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Prostate cancer added to disability benefits fast-track list," Cindy George, April 21, 2014

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