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Expansion of conditions eligible for “Compassionate Allowance” program

Written by Ankin Law Office

On December 10, 2011, 13 new conditions will be added to the Compassionate Allowances list (CAL), increasing the number of conditions on the list to 113.  The conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list involve neurological, mental, and immune system disorders.  The addition of the 13 new conditions was announced on October 13, 2011.

The Compassionate Allowances program provides the Social Security Administration (SSA) with a way to quickly identify those diseases and medical conditions that typically qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. The program allows the SSA to quickly target disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information can quickly and easily be obtained.

CAL conditions are developed as a result of information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, the advice of medical and scientific experts, and research with the National Institutes of Health.  The SSA also considers which conditions are most likely to meet our current definition of disability.

A complete list of all conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list can be found at  The new conditions added to the Compassionate Allowances list include the following:

  1. Angelman Syndrome
  2. Corticobasal Degeneration
  3. Lewy Body Dementia
  4. Lowe Syndrome
  5. Malignant Multiple Sclerosis
  6. Multicentric Castleman Disease
  7. Multiple System Atrophy
  8. Paraneoplastic Pemphigus
  9. Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma
  10. Primary Effusion Lymphoma
  11. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
  12. Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma
  13. The ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex

In October 2011, the SSA also announced that it would be initiating a small grants program for graduate students to order improve the disability determination process, including the Compassionate Allowances program.  The grant awarded approximately $1.5 million over a five-year period to Policy Research Incorporated, whereby small stipends will be available to graduate students for innovative research relevant to the disability program.

Categories: Social Security