Allsup Observes World Rare Disease Day Feb. 28

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Compassionate Allowances program for Social Security Disability Insurance applicants can provide relief for those dealing with rare diseases, according to Allsup

Allsup representatives have helped many individuals with rare diseases obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Nearly one in 10 Americans is dealing with a rare disease, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation, is pleased to join NORD in observance of World Rare Disease Day on Feb. 28.

“Being affected by a rare disease is not as uncommon as you might think,” said David Bueltemann, manager of senior claimant representatives at Allsup. “With close to 7,000 rare diseases recognized and more conditions being discovered all the time, the combined impact of these diseases on the American population is substantial.”

A disease is considered rare in the United States if it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans.

“There are nearly 30 million Americans—and millions more around the world—affected by rare diseases,” said Peter L. Saltonstall, president and CEO of NORD. “Everyone knows someone with a rare disease. But, while many of these diseases are serious and lifelong, most have no treatment and many are not even being studied by researchers. This leaves patients and families without hope for a better future.”

Challenges faced by patients and their families include delayed diagnosis, lack of treatment options and difficulty finding medical experts, Saltonstall added. “Many rare diseases have no approved treatment,” he said. “Insurance may not cover treatments that aren’t approved. Also, treatments for rare diseases tend to be more expensive than those for common diseases.”

Individuals with rare diseases may find some financial relief through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowances program, which fast-tracks disability claims that clearly qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible.

The Compassionate Allowances program was introduced in 2008, and has helped more than 200,000 people with rare or severe illnesses obtain their SSDI benefits more quickly, according to the SSA. With the addition of 35 conditions in December 2012, there now are 200 qualifying conditions on Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances list.

“This is an important development for individuals no longer able to work due to a rare illness,” Bueltemann said. “The Compassionate Allowances program allows SSA officials to better understand the impact these types of illnesses have and make a speedier determination for Social Security disability benefits.”

Allsup representatives have helped many individuals with rare diseases obtain SSDI benefits. Allsup experts can help them file applications or disability appeals, if their application has been denied by Social Security.

For more information about eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, contact Allsup’s Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.

For more information about World Rare Disease Day, visit This year marks the 30th anniversary of both the formation of NORD and the Orphan Drug Act, which was passed in 1983 to encourage companies to develop rare disease treatments.

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to or visit Allsup on Facebook at

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