The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) pays disability benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law requires this very strict definition of disability. While some programs give money to people with partial disability or short-term disability, Social Security does not.
Applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards are considered Compassionate Allowances (CAL). CALs are a quick way for SSA to identify disabled individuals who most obviously qualify for allowances based on objective medical information. CAL cases will receive expedited processing within the context of the existing disability determination process. CAL cases are similar to Terminal Illness claims, although not all CAL cases involve terminal illness. For example, a person with a spinal cord injury could qualify as a compassionate allowance – even if he or she is expected to live for many years.
CAL conditions are developed as a result of:
· Information received from public outreach hearings,
· Comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities,
· Counsel from medical and scientific experts, and
· SSA’s research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
New conditions are evaluated at Compassionate Allowances public outreach hearings; the total number to date of Compassionate Allowances conditions is 100. GIST specifically is not currently on the list. However, cancers located in the esophageal, large intestine, liver, small intestine and stomach are CAL conditions.
To view the complete list of Compassionate Allowances Conditions, visit:www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm
The two ways you can apply for disability benefits are to:
Apply at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability online
Call the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to make an appointment to file a disability claim at your local Social Security office or to set up an appointment for someone to take your claim over the telephone. The disability claims interview lasts about one hour. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days. If you schedule an appointment, we will send you a Disability Starter Kit to help you get ready for your disability claims interview. The Disability Starter Kit also is available online at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.