Compassionate Allowances: What are they and do I qualify?

Claimants filing a case for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may have to wait two or more years until they see results. However, in some instances, the Social Security Administration will essentially expedite or “fast-track” a claim for approval based on a well-supported diagnosis alone. These instances are very clearly defined as “Compassionate Allowances,” and Social Security identifies these to help “reduce waiting time to reach a disability determination for individuals with the most serious disabilities.”

On August 22, 2018, the Commissioner of Social Security added five more conditions to the compassionate allowance list:

Fibrolamellar Cancer
Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS)
Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome (MCAP)
Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System

This is in addition to the following conditions which are already considered a Compassionate Allowance:
Acute Leukemia
Adrenal Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Adult Onset Huntington Disease
Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome
Alexander Disease (ALX) – Neonatal and Infantile
Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome
Alobar Holoprosencephaly
Alpers Disease
Alpha Mannosidosis – Type II and III
ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex
Alstrom Syndrome
Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer – Adult with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Angelman Syndrome
Aortic Atresia
Aplastic Anemia
Astrocytoma – Grade III and IV
Ataxia Telangiectasia
Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor
Batten Disease
Beta Thalassemia Major
Bilateral Optic Atrophy- Infantile
Bilateral Retinoblastoma
Bladder Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Breast Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Canavan Disease (CD)
CACH–Vanishing White Matter Disease-Infantile and Childhood Onset Forms
Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site
Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL Type
Caudal Regression Syndrome – Types III and IV
Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal (COFS) Syndrome
Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis
Child Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
Child Lymphoma
Child Neuroblastoma – with distant metastases or recurrent
Chondrosarcoma – with multimodal therapy
Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) – Blast Phase
Coffin-Lowry Syndrome
Congenital Lymphedema
Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy
Cornelia de Lange Syndrome – Classic Form
Corticobasal Degeneration
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) – Adult
Cri du Chat Syndrome
Degos Disease – Systemic
DeSanctis Cacchione Syndrome
Dravet Syndrome
Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18)
Eisenmenger Syndrome
Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
Endomyocardial Fibrosis
Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Cancer)
Erdheim Chester Disease
Esophageal Cancer
Ewing Sarcoma
Farber Disease (FD) – Infantile
Fatal Familial Insomnia
Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
Fibrolamellar Cancer (Effective 8/20/2018)
Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma – metastatic or recurrent
Friedreichs Ataxia (FRDA)
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Picks Disease -Type A – Adult
Fryns Syndrome
Fucosidosis – Type 1
Fukuyama Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Fulminant Giant Cell Myocarditis
Galactosialidosis – Early and Late Infantile Types
Gallbladder Cancer
Gaucher Disease (GD) – Type 2
Giant Axonal Neuropathy
Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Cancer)
Glioma Grade III and IV
Glutaric Acidemia – Type II
Head and Neck Cancers – with distant metastasis or inoperable or unresectable
Heart Transplant Graft Failure
Heart Transplant Wait List – 1A/1B
Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) – Familial Type
Hepatopulmonary Syndrome
Hepatorenal Syndrome
Histiocytosis Syndromes
Hoyeaal-Hreidarsson Syndrome
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis Syndrome
Hypophosphatasia Perinatal (Lethal) and Infantile Onset Types
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
I Cell Disease
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Infantile Free Sialic Acid Storage Disease
Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)
Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
Intracranial Hemangiopericytoma
Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome
Joubert Syndrome
Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa – Lethal Type
Juvenile Onset Huntington Disease
Kidney Cancer – inoperable or unresectable
Kleefstra Syndrome
Krabbe Disease (KD) – Infantile
Kufs Disease – Type A and B
Large Intestine Cancer – with distant metastasis or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
Leigh’s Disease
Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis
Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS)
Lewy Body Dementia
Liposarcoma – metastatic or recurrent
Liver Cancer
Lowe Syndrome
Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis – Grade III
Malignant Brain Stem Gliomas – Childhood
Malignant Ectomesenchymoma
Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
Malignant Germ Cell Tumor
Malignant Multiple Sclerosis
Malignant Renal Rhabdoid Tumor
Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)
Maple Syrup Urine Disease
Marshall-Smith Syndrome
Mastocytosis – Type IV
MECP2 Duplication Syndrome
Medulloblastoma – with metastases
Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (Effective 8/20/2018)
Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome (Effective 8/20/2018)
Menkes Disease – Classic or Infantile Onset Form
Merkel Cell Carcinoma – with metastases
Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) – Late Infantile
Mitral Valve Atresia
Mixed Dementias
MPS I, formerly known as Hurler Syndrome
MPS II, formerly known as Hunter Syndrome
MPS III, formerly known as Sanfilippo Syndrome
Mucosal Malignant Melanoma
Multicentric Castleman Disease
Multiple System Atrophy
Myoclonic Epilepsy with Ragged Red Fibers Syndrome
Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy
Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation – Types 1 and 2
NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease
Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) – Type A
Niemann-Pick Disease-Type C
Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Obliterative Bronchiolitis
Ohtahara Syndrome
Oligodendroglioma Brain Cancer- Grade III
Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency
Orthochromatic Leukodystrophy with Pigmented Glia
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) – Type II
Osteosarcoma, formerly known as Bone Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Ovarian Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Pallister-Killian Syndrome
Pancreatic Cancer
Paraneoplastic Pemphigus
Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)
Pearson Syndrome
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Classic Form
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Connatal Form
Peripheral Nerve Cancer – metastatic or recurrent
Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal Mucinous Carcinomatosis
Perry Syndrome
Phelan-McDermid Syndrome
Pleural Mesothelioma
Pompe Disease – Infantile
Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma
Primary Effusion Lymphoma
Primary Progressive Aphasia
Progressive Bulbar Palsy
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
Prostate Cancer – Hormone Refractory Disease – or with visceral metastases
Pulmonary Atresia
Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma
Retinopathy of Prematurity – Stage V
Rett (RTT) Syndrome
Revesz Syndrome
Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata
Roberts Syndrome
Salivary Cancers
Sandhoff Disease
Schindler Disease – Type 1
Seckel Syndrome
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency – Childhood
Single Ventricle
Sinonasal Cancer
Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome
Skin Malignant Melanoma with Metastases
Small Cell Cancer (Large Intestine, Prostateor Thymus)
Small Cell Cancer of the Female Genital Tract
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small Intestine Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome
Soft Tissue Sarcoma – with distant metastases or recurrent
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – Types 0 and 1
Spinal Nerve Root Cancer-metastatic or recurrent
Spinocerebellar Ataxia
Stiff Person Syndrome
Stomach Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System (Effective 8/20/2018)
Tabes Dorsalis
Tay Sachs Disease – Infantile Type
Tetrasomy 18p (Effective 8/20/2018)
Thanatophoric Dysplasia – Type 1
Thyroid Cancer
Transplant Coronary Artery Vasculopathy
Tricuspid Atresia
Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Ureter Cancer – with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Usher Syndrome – Type I
Ventricular Assist Device Recipient – Left, Right, or Biventricular
Walker Warburg Syndrome
Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome
Wolman Disease
X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease
X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy
Xeroderma Pigmentosum
Zellweger Syndrome

Although the above qualify as a “Compassionate Allowance,” claimants still need medical evidence to support the diagnosis and a disability lawyer can be useful. If you or a loved one believes you have an illness that is on the Compassionate Allowance List and needs help obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), please do not hesitate to contact my office.