Many medical conditions are very serious because they can lead to swift death. For individuals who have these, trying to wait on a disability application to move through the process could mean that they don’t ever get the benefits they deserve. In order to address this issue, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has the Compassionate Allowances program.

The Compassionate Allowances program covers medical conditions like adult brain disorders, some rare childhood conditions and specific cancers. The list is based on various sources of information, including counsel from experts and public comments. The goal is to ensure that everyone who needs disability can receive it before it’s too late. Since these conditions are often associated with a rapid worsening of symptoms and are usually fatal, speeding up the process can help the applicants.

If you’re applying for disability based on a condition that qualifies for a compassionate allowance, ensure that you have the official diagnosis from your doctor and that you include it on your application. This enables the Social Security Administration’s technology to pick up the need for the application to go through the faster decision-making process.

The qualifications for a compassionate allowance application are the same as they are for any other application. It is best to ensure that you have your forms filled out correctly and get them in as quickly as you can once you know that you have a qualifying condition.

If you are denied, you’ll likely need to appeal. Working with someone knowledgeable about the process can help you as you go through this. When you’re already battling a life-threatening medical condition, you shouldn’t have to try to navigate through the disability system alone.