New disabilities added to fast-track benefits process

This is a photograph of a blue and silver stethoscope lying on of a prescription.
New conditions fast-tracked

The U.S. Social Security Administration announced July 14 that it is adding 12 new Compassionate Allowance conditions, which are used to determine which conditions are eligible for a fast-track process for approving disability benefits.

The administration, which has recently taken steps to shorten its process when for approving disability benefits amid an ever-growing backlog, now listed 100 conditions as eligible for the expedited disability process. Most of the new conditions are heart disease related.

“By definition, these illnesses are so severe that we don’t need to fully develop the applicant’s work history to make a decision,” said Commissioner Michael J. Astrue said in a news release.

Last year, about 100,000 applications for disability benefits were fast tracked, usually in less than two weeks. That figure is expected to rise to 150,000 this year. The Compassionate Allowances initiative is one of two systems the administration uses to expedite the process, along with the Quick Disability Determination process.