Compassionate Allowances: these two words represent more than 100 conditions. These are conditions that the Social Security Administration has stated invariably qualify for disability benefits.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is on that list. It is important that those who have this neurodegenerative illness, and their advocates, are aware their Social Security disability insurance claims should receive a faster approval.
ALS affects thousands of people in the D.C. metro, Baltimore and Northern Virginia areas. Across the country, about 30,000 people are currently suffering from this affliction, with about 5,600 new diagnoses each year. The nature of the disease generally limits the work capacity of its patients shortly after diagnosis. This affects not only the patients but also their families and loved ones.
Securing SSDI benefits for illnesses is not always easy. Despite an inability to work, claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. If diagnosed with ALS, however, that uncertainty is less of a problem, but it is not always nonexistent. Launched in 2008, the Compassionate Allowance program ensures that those with the most severe illnesses do not get caught in the administrative bottleneck.
By placing ALS on the list of Compassionate Allowances, the Social Security Administration agrees to recognize that the disease merits receipt of disability benefits, at least until modern medicine lessens the tragic effects of ALS.
Local D.C. attorneys have experience with both qualifying and non-qualifying illnesses. Given the financial importance of disability benefits, ensuring their receipt can be vital for many families.
Source: The Lufkin News, "Social Security: Faster disability approval for people living with ALS," Peggy Buchanan, May 6, 2012