Social Security Announces New Conditions for Compassionate Allowances Program

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 52 new Compassionate Allowances conditions, primarily involving neurological disorders, cancers and rare diseases. The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years. Commissioner Astrue made the announcement during his remarks at the World Orphan Drug Congress near Washington, D.C.

“Social Security will continue to work with the medical community and patient organizations to add more conditions,” Commissioner Astrue said. “With our Compassionate Allowances program, we quickly approved disability benefits for nearly 61,000 people with severe disabilities in the past fiscal year, and nearly 173,000 applications since the program began.”

The Compassionate Allowances initiative identifies claims where the nature of the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets the statutory standard for disability. With the help of sophisticated new information technology, the agency can quickly identify potential Compassionate Allowances and then quickly make decisions.

Social Security launched the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008 with a list of 50 diseases and conditions. The announcement of 52 new conditions, effective in August, will increase the total number of Compassionate Allowances conditions to 165. The conditions include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, a number of rare genetic disorders of children, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, immune system conditions, and other disorders. In his speech that opened the Congress, Commissioner Astrue thanked the National Institutes of Health for research they conducted which helped identify many of the conditions added to the list.

New Compassionate Allowances Conditions:

Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome

Alobar Holoprosencephaly

Alpers Disease

Alpha Mannosidosis

Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site

Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis

Child Neuroblastoma

Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Chondrosarcoma with multimodal therapy

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome-Classic Form

Ewings Sarcoma

Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with metastases

Fucosidosis – Type 1

Galactosialidosis – Early Infantile Type

Glioma Grade III and IV

Hallervorden-Spatz Disease



Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome


Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis

Hypophosphatasia Perinatal lethal Form

I Cell disease

Infantile Free Sialic Acid Storage Disease

Juvenile Onset Huntington Disease

Kufs Disease Type A and B


Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis Grade III

Malignant Brain Stem Gliomas–Childhood

Malignant Melanoma with metastases

Mastocytosis Type IV

Medulloblastoma with metastasis

Merkel Cell Carcinoma with metastases

Myocolonic Epilepsy

Ragged Red Fibers Syndrome

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

Obliterative Bronchiolitis

Ohtahara Syndrome

Orthochromatic Leukodystrophy with Pigmented Glia

Pearson Syndrome

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease Classic Form

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease Connatal Form

Peripheral Nerve Cancer metastatic or recurrent

Perry Syndrome


Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata

Schindler Disease Type 1

Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome

Spinal Nerve Root Cancer- metastatic or recurrent

Stiff Person Syndrome

Tabes Dorsalis

Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome

Xeroderma Pigmentosum

For more information on the Compassionate Allowances

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