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Can I Qualify for an SSDI Compassionate Allowance if I’ve been diagnosed with a Tumor?


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For weeks or months you simply didn’t feel quite right. You put off going to see your doctor for a time because this seemed like something that would clear-up on its own after a bit of time. But, rather than improving, your condition or impairment worsened until even performing basic tasks became a struggle. Eventually your condition forced you stop working in your job or trade after years of hard work and dedication.

While you can now focus on your recovery and getting better, there are probably many questions running through your mind. These questions may range from questions about your condition to worries about how you will pay your bills now that you are out of work.

For many people with serious illnesses or impairments, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can provide cash benefits while you focus on your recovery. In some instances, a compassionate allowance may allow for a benefits award to be expedited. However, the applicant must be able to satisfy all medical and non-medical program requirements to receive benefits. An experienced Fayetteville AR disability lawyer, like Ken Kieklak, can guide you through each and every step of the application and decisional process. He can also file an appeal on your behalf should your initial claim be rejected.

A Tumor may qualify an Applicant for a Compassionate Allowance

A doctor or medical professional does not diagnose a cancerous tumor lightly. This is because the condition can be so severe, that serious disruptions to one’s life are assured and death is a possibility. Often the diagnosis will come only after numerous objective medical tests confirm the doctor’s suspicion. However, because a malignant tumor can cause one’s condition to deteriorate so rapidly, many think that Social Security benefits will not help them because they may have already succumbed to the disease.

In recognition of medical conditions that are extremely serious and can progress rapidly, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has established a Compassionate Allowance Program (CAL) to provide benefits on an expedited basis. CAL is intended to quickly provide benefits to individuals with conditions that are so severe that they obviously meet disability standards. Types of tumors that may qualify one for this program include:

  • Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor
  • Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor)
  • Glioblastoma Multiforme (Adult Brain Tumor)
  • Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
  • Malignant Germ Cell Tumor
  • Malignant Renal Rhabdoid Tumor
  • Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor – Grade III
  • Salivary Tumors

While these are the current types of tumors found on the SSA’s CAL conditions list, others can be added. The SSA accepts suggestions from concerned members of the public, advocacy groups, scientists, doctors, and others.

How do I Apply for CAL?

Those who believe that they may qualify for expedited CAL benefits do not have to complete any special paperwork or otherwise perform any additional steps to apply for a CAL. Individuals should utilize the normal SSD claims filing process. The SSA will then review and flag applications that allege a CAL condition. These applications are then expedited.

Claims that are selected to be expedited are typically processed in about 3 weeks which is a significant improvement over typical processing times. However, actual processing times will depend on a number of factors including:

  • Did you include ample medical evidence? If the SSA is required to request medical records and test result, your claim may stall until the doctor or medical facility provides it.
  • Is a medical exam required? Allegations of certain conditions and impairments requires examination by a state doctor. Availability can delay the processing of claims.
  • Was the claim selected for QA review? In order to improve its level of service, some claims are randomly selected for the quality assurance program.

While there is no additional money available for beneficiaries of the CAL program, the significantly expedited processing times can provide much needed assistance more quickly. CAL is applicable to both SSDI claims and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims.

Rely on our disability attorneys’ experience in Arkansas

We work with individuals  with extremely serious conditions, like many types of tumors, to help them secure SSDI benefits more quickly. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation, call the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak at 479-439-1943 today or contact us online.

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