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Social Security to Add Huntingtons Disease to Compassionate Allowances Program

The Social Security Administration has announced that one of the additional 52 conditions which will be added to the SSA Compassionate will be symptomatic Huntington’s Disease. This will bring the total of number of conditions on the Compassionate Allowance list up to 165.
Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

SSDI and SSI applicants who have Huntington’s Disease, which is a condition which causes the nerves in the brain to degenerate causing a broad array of symptoms such as cognitive disorders, psychiatric conditions and motor difficulties, will now have their SSI or SSDI application expedited for disability determination processing.

This expedited process will allow applicants with huntington's disease to be identified early in the application process. Additionally, the SSA will also recognize Juvenile Huntington Disease as well. All changes will be effective this month.

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, noted that this condition most often strikes claimants who are in their late 40s or 50s. “Woody Guthrie, the composer of ‘This Land is Your Land,’ among hundreds of other folk classics, suffered and died from Huntington’s Disease, a progressive and always fatal disease of the brain that affects nearly 30,000 people in the U.S.”

Compassionate Allowance is one method the SSA has helped claimants get disability more quickly if they have a severe health condition. Currently the disability application process can take up to two years if claimants are denied multiple times and have to enter the SSA disability appeal’s process. This wait was too long for many very seriously ill claimants. Compassionate Allowance has allowed the SSA to identify diseases and other conditions that they believe will automatically qualify under the SSA disability standards.

If you have a condition on the Compassionate Allowance list, assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements of SSDI or SSI, you may have your application decision within days instead of months or years.

Kaiser Permanente electronically transmits complete medical records online

The Social Security Administration also announced thatKaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, will electronically transmit complete medical records to the Social Security Administration as long as they have the appropriate approval from patients.

This is great news for the more than 70,000 Kaiser Permanente patients who will receive their SSDI or SSI decisions faster due to the seamless transmission the medical records. According to the SSA, this will allow them to get the medical records they need to make their disability decisions faster.

The move to electronic medical records transfers has been in the works for the last several years. In fact, the SSA has created the Nationwide Health Information Network which has been used by smaller medical providers, but now that Kaiser Permanente has joined the network the SSA expects significant improvements to the process.

“I am confident that people will look back at today’s announcement as the most significant improvement in our disability determination process since the program began in 1956.  In today’s world it makes no sense for us to chase down paper records on an individual basis,” said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.  “We are thrilled that Kaiser Permanente is now one of our key agents for change.”

Keep watch on our blog for the latest SSA News updates.
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