What the Compassionate Allowances initiative means for you

It's hard to imagine just how devastating it can be when a person receives the news that they are suffering from an especially debilitating -- and possibly deadly -- medical condition from their physician.

While they will undoubtedly do everything they can to try to cure or manage their condition, the reality is that they probably won't be able to work and that this can become the source of unwanted stress during already difficult times.

The good news is that not only can people in these situations turn to the Social Security disability insurance program for possible relief, but that they may be eligible for something known as the Compassionate Allowances initiative.

In the next few posts, our blog will devote some time to discussing the CAL initiative and what it means for those with severe medical conditions.

The importance of the CAL initiative  

Under the CAL initiative, those people diagnosed with certain diseases and conditions known to be especially serious may see their applications for disability benefits expedited by the Social Security Administration. This is because officials understand that there is virtually no way that those suffering from these delineated illnesses or ailments will ever fail to satisfy the agency's definition of disability.

Qualifying conditions under the CAL initiative

While a complete listing of all of the qualifying CAL conditions is beyond the scope of a single blog post, some of the more notable sicknesses include acute leukemia, mesothelioma, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, thyroid cancer and liver cancer.

Determining the qualifying CAL conditions

In general, qualifying CAL conditions are selected by the SSA after consideration of data and other important information received via medical/scientific experts, public comments, public outreach hearings, and consultation with National Institutes of Health. Consideration is also given as to whether a condition is likely to satisfy the agency's most current disability definition.

We will continue to explore this topic in our next post. In the meantime, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you have questions concerning your ability to secure disability benefits or the denial of your benefits application.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Compassionate allowances," Accessed Sept. 24, 2014