There are two basic parts to the Social Security Administration’s standard for disability: a condition that is likely to result in death and/or last more than a year and that prevents you from working. Sometimes, it can take months for the Administration to decide as to whether a condition meets that standard. 

However, some conditions are quite serious and/or progress quickly. The SSA understands this, which is why some conditions qualify for compassionate allowances. 


The SSA has already determined that the conditions that qualify for compassionate allowances meet its standard for disability. Therefore, when you submit a claim for a condition on the compassionate allowance list, the system fast-tracks your application so you get approved faster. However, you still have to wait a minimum of five months because your disability started before you can receive payments. 


You do not need to do anything extra to apply for a compassionate allowance. SSDI applications go through a computer software system that checks them against a list of conditions that may qualify for compassionate allowances. This process happens almost instantaneously. Applications so identified go through processing faster. 


There are currently over 200 conditions on the SSA’s list of compassionate allowances. They include the following: 

  • Rare genetic disorders 
  • Neurodegenerative diseases 
  • Immune diseases 
  • Certain cancers 

However, if your condition does not appear on the Social Security Administration’s list, that does not necessarily mean it does not qualify as a compassionate allowance. You can submit information about the condition to the SSA and ask for the addition of the condition to the list. The more information you can provide about the condition, the more helpful it will be. In addition to information about the condition, you must submit your name and contact information. The SSA has a dedicated phone number and email address that you can use to submit a condition as a compassionate allowance.