On March 16, 2011, the Social Security Administration held a public hearing to obtain information from the nation’s leading experts on autoimmune diseases, with a focus on how to identify and implement Compassionate Allowances for adults and children with these diseases. Noting that more than 20 million Americans suffer from autoimmune conditions, which particularly affect women and children, the Commissioner of Social Security said, “With this hearing, we are searching for objective medical evidence and decision rules that we can use to expedite cases for those with the most severe conditions and quickly provide them with some measure of financial security.”
Social Security implemented Compassionate Allowances in October 2008 to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants with medical conditions so severe that their conditions by definition meet Social Security’s standards. Currently, 88 specific diseases and conditions qualify as a Compassionate Allowance. Last year, SSA used the Compassionate Allowances initiative, along with an expedited disability determination process, to quickly approve more than 100,000 applications; this year, SSA hopes to increase that number to 150,000. Learn more.