Social Security fast-tracks rare-disease claims
In an effort to ease the burden of being stricken with a debilitating condition, the Social Security Administration is expanding a program that fast-tracks disability claims by people who get serious illnesses such as cancer, early-onset Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease — claims that could take months or years to approve in the past.
Disability claims are up by more than 20 percent from 2008. 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 is being expanded Thursday to include a total of 200 diseases and conditions.
Since the Compassionate Allowances program was started, 200,000 people have received expedited benefits, Astrue said. On Thursday, the agency is scheduled to announce that it is adding 35 more diseases and conditions to the program, bringing the total to 200.
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