If you or a loved one are applying for Social Security benefits for a temporary or permanent disability, then you may qualify for Compassionate Allowances.

Compassionate Allowances allows those with certain illnesses who are unable to work to be put on an accelerated track for Social Security disability benefits, usually in less than two weeks. There are 100 qualifying conditions, and the list includes illnesses like certain cancers, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and acute Leukemia.

The program began in December of 2007 as a way to quickly process those with severe illnesses. Those who qualify can forgo the usual work history inspection.

The list is compiled of illnesses that are most likely to fit the Social Security definition of disability. The commissioner of Social Security says that Social Security has an “obligation” to process those who clearly qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to illness as quickly as possible.

There are two parts to the Social Security fast track: Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determination. Together, they approved over 100,000 people last year for benefits. Their prediction for this year is almost 150,000 cases, 50 percent more than last year. QDD analyzes electronic data to determine the probability that an applicant is legitimately disabled.

Conditions for Compassionate Allowances were developed from sources such as public outreach hearings, the National Institutes of Health and the Social Security and Disability Determination Service, medical experts, and scientific experts.

The full list of qualifying conditions along with more information about Compassionate Allowances can be found on the U.S. Social Security website.

Source: The Emporia Gazette, “100 Disability conditions fast tracked,” Shawn Cole, Sept. 1, 2011