Belleville, IL (PRWEB) October 17, 2013 -- Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) representation, encourages individuals filing for SSDI to determine if they are eligible for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowance (CAL) program. Marking its fifth anniversary this month, CAL was designed to fast-track disability claims for individuals with conditions so severe they obviously meet SSA’s disability criteria.
The initial CAL list included 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers. Over the past five years, the list of CAL conditions has grown to 200. They include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, immune system conditions and other disorders. According to the SSA, individuals with CAL conditions may receive a decision on their claim in a matter of weeks instead of months or years.
The following conditions were cited in a 2010 SSA report as the 10 most common CAL diagnoses based on a review of CAL claims awarded between Oct. 2008 and Sept. 2009.
1. Lung cancer
- 19.1 percent
2. Breast cancer
- 10.2 percent
3. Pancreatic cancer
- 9.8 percent
4. Colon cancer
- 8.6 percent
5. Liver cancer
- 7.8 percent
- 5.5 percent
7. Esophageal cancer
- 5.1 percent
8. Brain cancer
- 3.5 percent
9. Kidney Cancer
- 3.5 percent
10. Anterior Horn Cell Disease (including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- 3.1 percent
“CAL can be a boon for someone with a severe disability by not making him or her wait an undue amount of time to receive benefits,” said Allsup senior claimant representative Edward Swierczek. “However, having a CAL condition does not automatically mean a person will be awarded SSDI benefits immediately.”
The SSA report showed that while cases identified as CAL were processed faster than the average claim (47 days versus the national average of 101 days in Fiscal Year 2009), SSA did not identify all of the cases that qualified for CAL processing. Seven percent of the identified CAL cases did not receive awards at the initial level.
“Part of the reason may be due to the fact that there is no special application or form that asks for CAL status,” said Swierczek. “Every applicant, regardless of diagnosis, uses the standard SSA process for filing an SSDI claim.”
He added that enlisting the help of a representative to handle the initial application, paperwork and follow up can help individuals obtain their SSDI awards faster, whether or not they have a CAL condition. A representative can also help eligible individuals get their applications flagged for CAL status.
The SSA uses a computer program to identify potential CAL applicants, but does not notify individuals if their claim is selected for the CAL program. However, the SSA does notify applicants if they need additional medical evidence, and sometimes requires a medical exam with one of its own doctors. How quickly applicants are able to gather and supply that evidence has a direct impact on how long it takes to process their claims.
“Having expert representation can alleviate the stress of filling out forms, obtaining medical records, interacting with care providers, coordinating appointments and making sure the proper paperwork is submitted in a timely fashion,” said Swierczek.
“A representative takes the burden off claimants so they can focus on their treatment and the things that are important to them.”
SSDI provides monthly income to former workers under full retirement age who, due to health reasons, cannot return to work for at least 12 months or have a terminal condition. Individuals are eligible for Medicare 24 months after their cash benefits begin.
For a free SSDI eligibility evaluation, visit Expert.Allsup.com or call (888) 841-2126.
Tai Venuti, Allsup, http://expert.allsup.com, +1 (618) 803-8807, [email protected]