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Social Security improves its program for disability




Social Security is making the disability process much faster for people with rare diseases and cancers.

That’s because Social Security has begun the first phase of its 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.

The improvements to the disability determination process are the result of a series of public hearings where Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security, received information from leading experts on cancers and rare diseases. Social Security also has been receiving technical assistance from the National Institutes of Health to ensure that the compassionate allowance initiative is based on sound, up-to-date medical science.

“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 – as well as more information about Compassionate Allowances can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/ compassionateallowances.


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