In 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) expanded their Compassionate Allowances List, a list that details conditions that are eligible for expedited disability benefits approval. Here, the disability benefit advocates at Disability Associates discuss the new additions and how this impacts individuals seeking disability benefits.

What are the New Conditions Added to the Compassionate Allowances List?

In 2018, the SSA expanded its Compassionate Allowances List, adding five new conditions: Fibrolamellar cancer, Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS), Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome (MCAP), Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System and Tetrasomy 18p. Learn more about these conditions below:

Fibrolamellar Cancer

Fibrolamellar cancer, formally known as Hepatocellular Carcinoma, is a rare liver cancer that typically occurs in adolescents and young adults who have no history of liver disease, although it has been documented in patients as young as two and as old as 74 years of age. Symptoms may include abdominal, shoulder or back pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, jaundice, and a palpable mass. The typical treatment is surgical removal of the tumor if it has not spread beyond the liver. 

Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS)

MMIHS is a rare congenital disease characterized by a massively distended abdomen, which is caused by an enlarged urinary bladder (megacystis), microcolon and decreased or absent intestinal peristalsis. The majority of individuals who have this condition are female, although it is not yet understood why. There is no cure for this condition, and the majority of surgical interventions have proven unsuccessful.

Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome (MCAP)

MCAP is a disorder characterized by the abnormal growth of several tissues in the body, typically the brain and small blood vessels in the skin called capillaries. Individuals with this condition often have an oversized head and brain, excessive fluid within the brain, pink and red spots on the skin and sometimes limbs that are longer and larger than normal. Several types of surgeries may be performed to help mitigate symptoms, but the condition often causes intellectual and neurological disabilities that last a lifetime.

Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System

Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System is caused by the deposition of iron into brain tissue, which causes hearing loss, impaired gait, loss of sense of smell and often dementia. Men are much more likely to have the disease than women, and while there is no cure, several treatments are available to help with the symptoms.

Tetrasomy 18p

Tetrasomy 18p is a genetic condition caused by irregular chromosomes, and the symptoms may include seizures, intellectual impairment, hip dysplasia, chronic constipation, stunted growth and more. Treatment for this condition is based on the symptoms that the patient presents.

How Does the SSA Determine Which Conditions are Considered a Compassionate Allowance?

The SSA regularly updates the Compassionate Allowances List to include diseases and conditions that are most likely to meet the requirements for disability benefits, meaning the condition must prevent an individual from working for at least one year or result in death.

The SSA determines which conditions should be on the list based on information from the public, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, counsel from medical and scientific experts, research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and information received from past public outreach hearings regarding potential Compassionate Allowance conditions.

My Condition is Not on the List—Can I Submit it for Consideration?

If you do not see a specific condition on the Compassionate Allowances List, it does not mean that the condition may not qualify to be on the list. You may submit a request to the SSA to review the condition and potentially place it on the Compassionate Allowances List by completing the form found here.

Speak to a Disability Advocate Today to Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits

The SSA understands how important it is for individuals with severe and life-threatening conditions to receive the disability benefits they need. If you or a loved one has a condition found within the Compassionate Allowances List, your chances of being approved for disability benefits is greatly increased. The disability advocates at Disability Associates are passionate about helping those with disabilities receive the benefits they require to live healthier lives. Speak to one of our attorneys today to learn more about applying for disability benefits.