Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances Program allows for a quick approval for people who have a critically severe illness, such as Stage 4 cancer or a brain disorder. When an application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits is filed as a Compassionate Allowance claim, the local office is supposed to determine if the claim satisfies the criteria for a compassionate allowance. If it does, the local office is supposed to send the claim to the State agency as a flagged claim. The analyst at the State agency assigned to the case is supposed to expedite the claim, so instead of taking months or years to make a decision, the claimant can expect a decision within a matter of a few short weeks.
We represent two claimants with Stage 4 cancers, who were approved within weeks of filing their application. We knew when we took their cases, we would not be collecting a fee because our fee is a percentage of a claimant’s past due benefits, and there would be no past due benefits because their claims would be approved so quickly. We could have told the claimants to apply on their own, knowing they would be approved right away, like some other lawyers would have done. But we are not those kinds of attorneys. We wanted to take the burden of applying for SSD off their shoulders and their families’, and help in any way we could. The last thing they needed was to be stressed and worried about applying for SSD.
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