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Compassionate allowance list adds 35 additional illnesses

There are millions of people across the country, including here in New Jersey, that are so severely impacted by a medical condition or illness that they are unable to work and provide for themselves. Often, these individuals will turn to Social Security Disability in hopes of receiving benefits that will help them put food in the bellies and keep roofs over their heads.

Unfortunately, about two out of every three applications will initially be rejected. Individuals initially rejected can appeal the decision to an administrative law judge, but by the time that has reached a conclusion -- either positive or negative -- a year has gone by without benefits, on average.

Often, individuals will seek the experience of an attorney to help with filing to avoid a rejection or provide a strong appeal in an administrative law judge hearing. Unfortunately, for some individuals, a year is too long. They can't wait for the decision in the initial application process and then an appeal after rejection. Further, the Social Security Administration is still facing a large backlog of claims, meaning more and more individuals that need benefits are left hanging in the balance.

In order to address this issue, the Social Security Administration added 35 additional illnesses and diseases to the list of compassionate allowances, which means that individuals with qualifying conditions can be approved in days for benefits, rather than months. The total list comprises now 200 diagnoses that include many rare cancers and conditions that result in rapid degeneration.

According to the president and CEO of the National Organization for Rare Disorders regarding critically suffering individuals, "You're still alive and breathing, and in that case you need to buy groceries, you need to be able to support yourself in some fashion. And so this is a program that helped solve that problem."

Speaking with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can aid an individual seeking benefits in obtaining them as quickly as possible.

Source: Oregon Live, "Social Security disability claims will be sped up by program's expansion," Associated Press, Dec. 5, 2012

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