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SSA adds many conditions to 'compassionate' list for benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance provides financial benefits for people in Pittsburgh who are unable to work due to a debilitating injury, illness or disability. For many people, the benefits, while often modest, make a big difference in their ability to make ends meet. One study recently found that for more than 21 million people in the U.S., SSDI benefits keep their finances above poverty level.

The process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits can be long and difficult. The Social Security Administration, which operates the program, rejects the majority of applications. Applicants have the right to appeal, but many cases take months, if not years, to resolve. However, people with certain conditions can have their cases expedited so that SSA can approve benefits within a couple of weeks. The idea behind this policy is that certain conditions are so severe that they leave the applicant obviously disabled and possibly without much time to live.

The SSA recently announced that is has expanded its list of "compassionate allowance conditions," as it calls them. Among the additions are certain types of cancer like adult Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and alveolar soft part sarcoma; aplastic anemia; Allan-Hendon-Dudley syndrome, a neurological disorder; and fatal familial insomnia.

People who are living with a serious medical condition or who are caring for a disabled child often find themselves in difficult financial straits. SSDI benefits are available to ease the burden in many cases. Going to an attorney experienced in Social Security disability matters can be very helpful.

Source: The Pottstown Mercury, "LEGAL EASE: Social Security announces more conditions for compassionate allowances," Kathy Martin, Dec. 16, 2012

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