The Social Security Administration (SSA) runs the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) program, which provides disability benefits to many Americans who can no longer work to support themselves and who meet certain requirements.
For some of those who apply for SSD benefits, their condition is so severe that the wait for benefits approval can be difficult or impossible. For these individuals, the SSA maintains a “Compassionate Allowances” list. The Compassionate Allowances list names those medical conditions that entitle a person to immediate approval of an application for SSD benefits.
In early December 2012, the SSA updated the Compassionate Allowances list to include 35 additional medical conditions. Many of the additions fall into one of three categories. They include genetic conditions, congenital medical conditions, and several types of cancer, including cancers typically experienced in childhood. They also include several neurological conditions.