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  • Writer's pictureStephanie O. Joy, Esq.

Compassionate Allowances: Cancers, Which Ones?

Some people disabled by Cancer, depending on the type of cancer, may be able to more quickly have their claim processed and determined, by virtue of Compassionate Allowances.

Note: This article is for general information only and is not legal advice to any particular reader or individual. For legal advice, you must specifically retain a lawyer.

The Social Security Administration's (SSA) Compassionate Allowances (CAL) assist it to expeditiously identify medical conditions and diseases that meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits by virtue of what they are. These conditions largely include certain cancers, as well as adult brain disorders, and several rare other disorders that affect children. The CAL goes far in reducing waiting time of a most seriously disabled claimant to reach the point of a disability determination.

As described by the SSA: "The Compassionate Allowances program identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. By incorporating cutting-edge technology, the agency can easily identify potential Compassionate Allowances to quickly make decisions. Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the same rules to evaluate CAL conditions when evaluating both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs."[1]

However, not call fighting Cancer have conditions within the criteria for disability nor Compassionate Allowance. The Cancers included in the CAL, to date, are*:
  1. Acute leukemia

  2. Adrenal cancer with distant metastases, or inoperable, unresectable, or recurrence

  3. Adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma

  4. Anaplastic adrenal cancer with distant metastases, or inoperable, unresectable, or recurrence

  5. Bilateral retinoblastoma

  6. Bladder cancer with distant metastases, or inoperable or unresectable

  7. Breast cancer with distant metastases, or inoperable or unresectable

  8. Carcinoma of unknown primary site

  9. Chondrosarcoma with multimodal therapy

  10. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), blast phase

  11. Endometrial stromal sarcoma

  12. Esophageal cancer

  13. Ewing sarcoma

  14. Follicular dendritic cell sarcoma, metastatic or recurrent

  15. Gallbladder cancer

  16. Glioblastoma multiforme (adult brain tumor)

  17. Glioma, grades III and IV

  18. Head and neck cancers with distant metastases, or inoperable or unresectable

  19. Hepatoblastoma

  20. Kidney cancer, inoperable or unresectable

  21. Large intestine cancer with distant metastasis; or inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent

  22. Leiomyosarcoma

  23. Liver Cancer

  24. Lymphomatoid granulomatosis, grade III

  25. Malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor

  26. Malignant germ cell tumor

  27. Malignant melanoma, with metastases

  28. Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)

  29. Merkel cell carcinoma, with metastases

  30. Mucosal malignant melanoma

  31. Non-small cell lung cancer with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes, or inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent

  32. Osteosarcoma, with distant metastases, or inoperable or unresectable

  33. Ovarian cancer, with distant metastases, or inoperable or unresectable

  34. Pancreatic cancer

  35. Peripheral nerve cancer, metastatic or recurrent

  36. Peritoneal mesothelioma

  37. Peritoneal mucinous carcinomatosis

  38. Pleural mesothelioma

  39. Primary central nervous system lymphoma

  40. Primary effusion lymphoma

  41. Pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma

  42. Salivary tumors

  43. Sinonasal cancer

  44. Small cell cancer of the large intestine, ovary, prostate, or uterus

  45. Small cell lung cancer

  46. Small intestine cancer

  47. Spinal nerve root cancer, metastatic or recurrent

  48. Stomach cancer, with distant metastases, or inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent

  49. Ureter Cancer, with distant metastases, or inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent

*We have endeavored to make a complete list. The SSA may change the list at any time so we cannot 100% assure it is accurate, although we believe it to be. Should you find one inadvertently not included, please be kind and share! (Email You may also check here.

If you seek attorney representation for a Disability claim, it is our privilege to provide you a no cost evaluation. For a free Attorney-Level Disability Evaluation and possible attorney representation, we welcome you to fill out the very short Free Disability Evaluation Form. Or, feel free to call 201-317-0610. There is no retainer required for representation before the SSA on your pending claim. Joy Disability prefers, although it is not required, to accept your case prior to you filing, so that we may ensure that your application and required reports after applying are most accurate and useful for your claim.

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