It can be difficult to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. But, most successful disability claims have one thing in common: solid medical evidence.
As a reminder, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is reserved for people with serious and persistent medical conditions. These problems must prevent them from working. In most cases, claimants go through a process of applying for disability and multiple stages of appeals before their SSDI benefits begin.
This process can take years to complete. To address this problem, the Social Security Administration created a solution called the “compassionate allowances list.” This list fast-tracks claimants with certain medical problems.
The Compassionate Allowances List
The best way to identify if your condition is on the list is to click through the link we’ve provided. The list has over 200 conditions on it so be sure to review it carefully. If your condition is on the list, your claim will likely be expedited.
Some of the more commonly referenced conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list include:
- Acute leukemia
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Stage IV breast cancer
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
- Small cell lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
This is not an exhaustive list – there are more than 200 conditions on Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances list. It’s important to consult a professional if you have questions.
In reviewing the list, it’s important to note the qualifying conditions listed are severe and, in many cases, terminal. Less severe or non-progressive conditions are typically not listed. As an example, a diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer is not on the list while later stage breast cancer is listed.
Providing Proof of Diagnosis
If your medical condition is on the list, all you will need to do to receive benefits is provide proof of your diagnosis. This proof must be from your treating medical professional.
You must provide SSA with all your medical records to show evidence of your diagnosis along with the necessary supporting information. If your physician left out important supporting details, your claim could be denied even if your condition is classified as medically eligible for disability benefits. If denied, your “notice of denial” will explain why your claim was denied, and you can then appeal and provide the additional details needed to support your claim.
The SSDI program has strict financial restrictions. If you are working and earning income above the limits allowed, SSA will deny your claim. SSA evaluates income earned from work (they use the term substantial gainful activity or SGA) to determine whether you can receive disability benefits or not.
This limit changes each year. For 2020, the SGA limit is $1,260 per month. The 2021 SGA limit is $1,310. For more information about working while applying for disability benefits, we encourage you to read this blog post.
In summary, if you have a severe progressive condition listed on Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances list, your claim may be approved. However, restrictions apply and we always recommend working with a qualified disability lawyer to improve your chances of winning your claim.
If you are looking for a disability lawyer, feel free to contact us today for a free consultation.