Understanding the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances initiative

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Social Security Disability

Many people in California and the rest of the country require social security benefits for a number of reasons.In order to receive these benefits, people play social security taxes through their career, which later help them obtain benefits that are necessary owing an illness or a disability. In the United States, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides these benefits.

The SSA’s Compassionate Allowance initiative

The Compassionate Allowances, or CAL, initiative that is run by the Social Security Administration identifies a set of diseases whose disabling characteristics are clearly evident, even when based on minimal medical information. By maintaining this list, the SSA is able to identify the most obviously disabled individual for allowances that are based on CAL’s findings. It is important to remember though that CAL is not a separate program from the SSA’s existing disability insurance or supplemental security income programs.

How are the medical conditions for CAL identified?

In order to determine the medical conditions that are to be listed under CAL, the SSA gathers information from public outreach and hearings and Social Security and DIsability Determination Services communities. It also consults experts in the field of science and medicine and works in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. After the information is collected, the CAL team determines how closely a particular disease conforms to the definition of disability per the SSA’s guidelines.

What types of illnesses and disabilities are covered?

The CAL initiative has several public outreach hearings that address rare diseases, cancers, brain injuries, heart diseases, dementia, multiple organ transplants and autoimmune diseases. CAL also organizes ongoing programs and initiatives to continue identifying new medical conditions that should be a part of the SSA’s disability insurance program.

Obtaining disability benefits under the CAL initiative

In order to obtain benefits under the CAL initiative, applicants need to follow the same process that is in place for Social Security Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. The only advantage is that the SSA expedites applications that fall under the CAL initiative. The decision is sometimes made within a few weeks, depending on the severity of the medical condition for which the application has been filed.