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Can disability payments be processed quickly?

Contrary to the delays our Fresno readers may expect from the federal government, the Social Security Administration is actually able to expedite Social Security Disabilty claims in limited cases under its Compassionate Allowances program. In this program, the SSA identifies individuals who have a severe medical condition and who are unable to work because the condition is expected to last for at least one year or end in death. The program allows the SSA to quickly identify qualified diseases and medical conditions and expedite assistance to qualified claimants based on medical information that can be obtained quickly.

Conditions that allow for expedited payments under the CAL are selected from information that the SSA received in public outreach hearings, comments obtained from the Social Security and Disability and Determination Services communities, medical and scientific experts and joint research conducted with the National Institute of Health. The CAL list contains 223 conditions, including Farber's Disease, Tay Sachs disease in children, Huntington's disease, advanced adult pancreatic and ovarian cancer and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which causes rapid brain deterioration in healthy adults.

The SSA held seven outreach hearings for information on CAL conditions. The hearings sought information on conditions such as traumatic brain injury, strokes, early-onset Alzheimer disease and related afflictions, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease, transplants of multiple organs and autoimmune diseases.

The SSA will expedite processing of these claims in weeks. Processing time depends on the time that adequate medical evidence is submitted, whether a medical examination is needed to gather information to support the claim's medical requirements and whether the claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review. The claim forms for Social Security Disability benefits may be used and a special form is not required for submission.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Compassionate allowances speed help to people with severe disabilities," By Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy for Communications and "Compassionate allowances," Accessed Feb. 15, 2016

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Melissa A. Proudian, Attorney at Law
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Fresno, CA 93711

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