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What are "compassionate allowances"?

Illness is not fair. It doesn't stop to examine whether or not a person can survive it or afford to fight it -- it just happens. It can happen to the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the meek. No matter the circumstances, a serious illness can be devastating for Michigan residents.

When an illness strikes, many people will face immediate financial consequences. People will have medical expenses, or they may have to stop working. When this happens people may not know where to turn to get the relief they need.

The Social Security Administration understands that illnesses can be swift, severe and life-altering. As a result, the SSA has created the Compassionate Allowances program.

Through this program, people with certain conditions can immediately qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Conditions that qualify for compassionate allowances include any condition that is so severe that it is obvious that a person will qualify for SSD benefits. The specific illnesses and conditions that are covered include cancers, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, early-onset Alzheimer's and other rare conditions.

The specific diseases on the CAL list have been determined after much thought and research. The SSA has help public hearings on the issues and received advice from the medical community and other scientific experts. However, in each of these cases, it is clear that the individuals with these diseases otherwise qualify under the SSA's traditional definition of disability.

It is not easy for a Michigan resident to deal with a serious illness. Federal benefits can be essential to a person's financial survival. It is important to understand federal regulations and SSD benefit options.

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