People who are seriously ill will want to receive benefits at the earliest possible time, but the application process for some benefits can be tedious and lengthy. This is where a compassionate allowance comes in. If you’re applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you might have come across the term compassionate allowance. But what is it and what are its eligibility requirements?
In this article, we’ll discuss how a compassionate allowance works, how to apply for it, and how a disability lawyer can help.
Defining compassionate allowance
A compassionate allowance is a program offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows people with disabilities to receive benefits more quickly. The SSA has a list of compassionate allowances conditions, which are based on certain criteria, such as:
- The severity of the condition
- Whether the condition is terminal
- Whether the condition is rare
- Whether the condition meets the SSA’s definition of a disability
If you have a condition that meets any of these criteria, you may be eligible for a compassionate allowance.
Social Security can quickly determine people who are almost certainly to fulfill its standards for disability payments by utilizing compassionate allowances. Only a few medical issues qualify, and in some cases, the illness must be inoperable for it to fulfill the compassionate allowances criteria.
Applying for a compassionate allowance
If you think you might be eligible for a compassionate allowance, the first step is to complete an application for SSDI or SSI. When you complete your application, be sure to mention your condition and why you think you should be eligible for a compassionate allowance. The SSA will then review your application and determine whether you are eligible.
What’s great about a compassionate allowance is that you don’t have to apply for it. What happens is that Social Security screens applications for diagnoses that indicate that the applicant has an illness or condition that falls under the category of the compassionate allowance list of conditions. Social Security officials can expedite the processing of applications by flagging them.
Note, however, that although compassionate allowances are a means for an applicant to be granted benefits quickly, Social Security still needs time to calculate payments. If you’re approved for a compassionate allowance, you’ll receive benefits much sooner than if you had applied for SSDI or SSI without a compassionate allowance. In some cases, benefits can be paid within weeks of applying.
Do I need a disability lawyer?
While you don’t need a lawyer to apply for a compassionate allowance, it’s often helpful to have an experienced disability lawyer on your side.
Disability lawyers can help with the application process and make sure that it is complete and accurate. They can also help you appeal a decision if your application for a compassionate allowance is denied. If you’re approved for a compassionate allowance, an attorney can help you with the appeals process if your claim is later denied.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a complicated and confusing process. A disability lawyer can help ensure that your application is complete and accurate and that you have the best possible chance of being approved for benefits.