I was searching through the Social Security Agency website and came across information about Compassionate Allowances. There are 165 disease and conditions on this list.
Social Security has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards.
Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to quickly target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that they can obtain quickly.
CAL conditions are developed as a result of information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, counsel of medical and scientific experts, and research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Also, they consider which conditions are most likely to meet the current definition of disability.
I went on to watch a 6 hour session that was held last March, 2011 about autoimmune diseases, particularly Lupus, Sjögren's syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Scleroderma. I was hoping to hear the words "Antiphosphplipid Syndrome" or "Hughes Syndrome".
Out of that 6 hours...two minutes addressed APS. I was happy there was atleast that 2 minutes! A comment was made about Antiphospholipid Syndrome by a representative of the Lupus Foundation. It was brief and no follow up questions were asked. But later on the Commissioner asked a question about Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Sydrome.
He commented that he needed input for the SSA when they see CAPS on a Disability Application....he believed that would be a red flag for SSA to pull that application and give it immediate attention (saying that anything that starts with Catastrophic should draw attention). Two members of the panel respectfully responded ... when one has CAPS they probably wont have time to fill out a disability application because chances of them not surviving it is high and that when a person with Antiphospholipid Syndrome goes into Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Syndrome that it is very fast without any indicators that it will happen other than risk factors.
Considering that Lupus, Sjögren's, Multiple Sclerosis and Scleroderma are not on the list of Compassionate Allowances I dont imagine APS will be on there anytime in the future.
They are however listening to medical and scientific experts about Autoimmune diseases which is progress. To even hear a MENTION of APS was awesome....I sat here and WOOHHOOO'd ! It is a small beginning but nevertheless the knowledge is there with the SSA about Antiphospholipid Syndrome. They now realize that there is a greater concern to help before one goes into CAPS if it is possible, and that APS is a serious autoimmune disorder that they need to look at more closely.
Cheers to progress...even if it is a weeee baby step!