Social Security Disability fast tracking

To address the chronic backlog of the Social Security Administration, the agency is working to streamline the application process.

To ease the burden of debilitating conditions, the Social Security Administration is expanding a program that fast-tracks disability claims by people who have contracted serious illnesses, according to the Herald.

The Compassionate Allowances program approves many claims for a select group of conditions within a few days, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said.

The program was expanded Thursday to include 200 diseases and conditions such as advanced breast cancer, early-onset Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Started in 2008, the Compassionate Allowances program is designed to render decisions in 10 to 15 days to claims that could have taken months or years to approve in the past. It was begun after the agency did an internal review of how it handled initial applications from people with serious but rare conditions.

Two hundred thousand people have received expedited benefits since the Compassionate Allowances program was started.

Last week, the agency added 35 more diseases and conditions to the program, bringing the total to 200.

While providing faster benefits to the seriously ill, the program is also designed to ease the workload of an agency that has been swamped by disability claims since the economic recession.

If you or someone you know needs help with a claim, contact the SSD benefit lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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