Social Security pays disability benefits to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death.
Social Security has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards.
Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that can be obtained quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs.
The Compassionate Allowances (CAL) initiative is a way to expedite the processing of SSDI and SSI disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security's definition of disability. Individuals with CAL conditions may receive a decision on their claim in a matter of weeks instead of months or years. Being diagnosed with a CAL condition does not provide additional money above what an individual is eligible for under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs. CAL simply speeds up the receipt of a decision on the claim.
There is no special application or form that is unique to the CAL initiative. Individuals with a CAL condition apply for benefits using the standard SSA process for filing claims for SSDI, SSI, or both SSDI and SSI benefits. SSA will expedite the applications of those with a CAL condition. Applications for disability may be filed online, in the local field office, or by calling the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213.
For a list of compassionate allowances conditions go to:
For more information on Compassionate Allowances visit:
Social Security Adminstration website: