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Compassionate Allowance - Conditions that are automatically disabling according to the SSA

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has implemented several programs to expedite the disability process for applicants who have a severe mental or physical health conditions that obviously meet the SSA disability standards.

One of the most programs is the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, which identifies diseases and other medical condition that the SSA knows meets their Listing of Impairments. The CAL program allows the Social Security Administration to identity these conditions based on information the SSA can quickly gather.

How did the SSA develop their list of diseases for the Compassionate Allowance program? According to the SSA website the information was “gathered at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, counsel of medical and scientific experts, and our research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

The SSA has held several hearings to discuss diseases which could be included on the list such as rare diseases, cancers, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke, early-onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease and multiple organ transplants and autoimmune diseases.

In 2011, the Commissioner of the SSA announced that the Social Security Administration would add another 12 new conditions to their CAL list. As of 2011, there are 100 conditions on the Compassionate Allowance list.

Compassionate Allowance Diseases and Health Conditions



The following conditions are all considered disabling according to the Compassionate Allowance Program. The information listed below is gathered from the Social Security Administration’s website www.ssa.com.

1. Acute Leukemia
2. Adrenal Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
3. Alexander Disease (ALX) - Neonatal and Infantile
4. Alstrom Syndrome
5. Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
6. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
7. Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
8. Aortic Atresia
9. Astrocytoma - Grade III and IV
10. Ataxia Telangiectasia
11. Batten Disease
12. Bilateral Retinoblastoma
13. Bladder Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
14. Bone Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
15. Breast Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
16. Canavan Disease (CD)
17. Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal (COFS) Syndrome
18. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) - Blast Phase
19. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) – Adult
20. Cri du Chat Syndrome
21. Degos Disease, Systemic
22. Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
23. Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18)
24. Eisenmenger Syndrome
25. Endomyocardial Fibrosis
26. Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor)
27. Esophageal Cancer
28. Farber's Disease (FD) - Infantile
29. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
30. Friedreichs Ataxia (FRDA)
31. Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Picks Disease -Type A - Adult
32. Fukuyama Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
33. Gallbladder Cancer
34. Gaucher Disease (GD) - Type 2
35. Glioblastoma Multiforme (Adult Brain Tumor)
36. Glutaric Acidemia Type II (Neonatal)
37. Head and Neck Cancers - with distant metastasis or inoperable or uresectable
38. Heart Transplant Graft Failure
39. Heart Transplant Wait List, 1A/1B
40. Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), Familial Type
41. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
42. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
43. Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)
44. Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
45. Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
46. Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa, Lethal Type
47. Kidney Cancer - inoperable or unresectable
48. Krabbe Disease (KD) - Infantile
49. Large Intestine Cancer - with distant metastasis or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
50. Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
51. Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient
52. Leigh’s Disease
53. Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS)
54. Liver Cancer
55. Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)
56. Maple Syrup Urine Disease
57. Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
58. Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) - Late Infantile
59. Mitral Valve Atresia
60. Mixed Dementias
61. MPS I, formerly known as Hurler Syndrome
62. MPS II, formerly known as Hunter Syndrome
63. MPS III, formerly known as Sanfilippo Syndrome
64. Mucosal Malignant Melanoma
65. Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy
66. Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) - Type A
67. Niemann-Pick Disease-Type C
68. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
69. Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency
70. Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) - Type II
71. Ovarian Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
72. Pancreatic Cancer
73. Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)
74. Peritoneal Mesothelioma
75. Pleural Mesothelioma
76. Pompe Disease - Infantile
77. Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis
78. Primary Progressive Aphasia
79. Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
80. Pulmonary Atresia
81. Rett (RTT) Syndrome
82. Salivary Tumors
83. Sandhoff Disease
84. Single Ventricle
85. Small Cell Cancer (of the Large Intestine, Ovary, Prostate, or Uterus)
86. Small Cell Lung Cancer
87. Small Intestine Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
88. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) - Types 0 And 1
89. Spinocerebellar Ataxia
90. Stomach Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
91. Subacute Sclerosis Panencephalitis
92. Tay Sachs Disease - Infantile Type
93. Thanatophoric Dysplasia, Type 1
94. Thyroid Cancer
95. Tricuspid Atresia
96. Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
97. Ureter Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
98. Walker Warburg Syndrome
99. Wolman Disease
100. Zellweger Syndrome