A growing number of those diagnosed with severe debilitating conditions can now seek an expedited approval process for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
Among the new listed conditions granted approval for the bureaucratic fast-track:
- Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor
- Chronic Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction
- Coffin-Lowry Syndrome
- Gian Axonal Neuropathy
- Hoyeaal-Hreidarsson Syndrome
- Joubert Syndrome
- Lipsarcoma (those with recurrent or metastatic)
- Malignant Ectomesenchymoma
- Prostate Cancer (Hormone Refractory Disease or with visceral metastases).
The announcement of this expansion is great news for those with these conditions. It means they and their families will be able to secure benefits within a matter of days or weeks, rather than months or years.
However, most would be best served by the aid of an experienced Boston SSDI attorney to help guide them through the process. (Even those with the listed conditions can benefit from having legal representation, as there are still a significant number of claims that are turned down and require additional work.)
In Boston, the Social Security Administration reports the average wait time on all claims is 11 months. That is just for the initial hearing. A claim that is initially denied may result in a much longer ordeal.
We report this information not to discourage anyone from applying. Certainly, those who even consider it are already often in dire financial straits (despite the depiction offered up by certain political pundits, who paint them as greedy and eager for a money grab). We just want clients to be prepared. It can be an arduous process, and research has proven that having an experienced SSDI attorney to represent your interests makes a difference.
The average monthly benefit (as of December 2013) is $1,150 per claimant, once approved. The system is intended to aid those who can no longer work, but are too young to receive retirement. About 20 percent of all workers at some point will suffer a disabling condition during their career for which they will require some degree of financial assistance.
Those who are now on the compassionate allowance list will be able to bypass much of the red tape. Prior to this effort, many with these conditions died before receiving benefits, making their last few months a time of great stress. Fast-tracking the cases helps to ease that burden.
A perfect example is the case highlighted recently of a 55-year-old businessman from Milwaukee who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2013. Normally in Milwaukee, the wait time for a first-hearing is 15 months. But with his condition on the compassionate allowance list, his wait was only one month from the time he applied in March 2013. He says the fast approval process allowed him to keep his family in their home and make sure they wouldn’t have to decide between groceries or medicine.
While an attorney can’t always ensure an expedited claim for all applicants, there are ways that we can ensure the process isn’t delayed unnecessary. Having all the proper paperwork, witness statements, records on time to the appropriate office can help the process go more smoothly.
To learn more about how we can help, call our offices today.
For a complete list of conditions considered under compassionate allowance, visit: http://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances.
If you need help with an SSDI claim in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
‘Compassionate allowances’ fast-track applications for disability benefits, May 14, 2014, By Judi Hasson, Kiplinger Retirement Report, Premium Health News Service
More Blog Entries:
DeLong v. Comm’r of Social Sec. – Entitlement to SSDI Benefits Must Be “Strongly Established”, May 15, 2014, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog