Nancy A. Berryhill, acting commissioner of Social Security, announced on Aug. 21 five new Compassionate Allowance conditions: fibrolamellar cancer, megacystis microcolon, intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome, megalencephaly capillary malformation syndrome, superficial siderosis of the central nervous system, and tetrasomy 18p.

Compassionate Allowances is a program to identify medical conditions and serious diseases that meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.

“For nearly a decade, the Compassionate Allowance list has helped us identify and fast-track cases where individuals have diseases that are most likely to be approved for disability benefits,” said Berryhill. “Social Security is committed to ensuring Americans with qualifying disabilities quickly receive the benefits they need.”

The program identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the nature of many of these conditions, these claims are allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone. To date, more than 500,000 people with serious disabilities were approved through this policy-compliant disability process. The list has grown to a total of 233 conditions, including diseases such as pancreatic cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and acute leukemia.

The agency incorporates leading technology to identify potential Compassionate Allowances and make quick decisions. For disability cases not covered by this program, Social Security’s Health IT brings the efficiency of electronic medical records to the disability determination process. When a person applies for disability benefits, Social Security must obtain medical records to make an accurate determination.

It may take weeks for health care organizations to provide records for the applicant’s case. With electronic records transmission, Social Security is able to quickly obtain a claimant’s medical information, review it and make a determination faster than before.

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