Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced the national roll-out of the agency’s Compassionate Allowances initiative, a way to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security’s standards. “Getting benefits quickly to people with the most severe medical conditions is both the right and the compassionate thing to do,”
Commissioner Astrue said. “This initiative will allow us to make decisions on these cases in a matter of days, rather than months or years.” Social Security is launching this expedited decision process with a total of 50 conditions. Over time, more diseases and conditions will be added. A list of the first 50 impairments -- 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers -- can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances . Before announcing this initiative, Social Security held public hearings to receive information from experts on rare diseases and cancers. The agency also enlisted the assistance of the National Institutes of Health.