SSA Expands Compassionate Allowances Program to Provide Faster Benefits, Ease Workload

The Compassionate Allowances Program, which is a program designed to fast-track disability claims for individuals with serious illnesses, is being expanded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in an effort to ease the burden of being stricken with a debilitating condition. The program is being expanded to include a total of 200 medical conditions and diseases, and the program approves many claims for this select group of conditions within a few days. With proper documentation, the cases are relatively easy to decide and applicants may not face the same time-consuming process as others. Many of the conditions included in the Compassionate Allowances Program are rare, but are so serious that those who suffer from them easily meet the government’s definition of being disabled. As disability claims are up by more than 20 percent since 2008, the Compassionate Allowances Program is also designed to ease the SSA workload, which has been swamped with disability claims since the economic recession several years ago. The high demand for disability benefits has made it difficult for the agency to reduce disability claims backlogs and wait times for decisions. An estimated 3.2 million individuals have applied for disability this year, which is up from the[…..]