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Automatically win SSD & SSI benefits if you have one of the 12 new conditions added by SSA to the Compassionate Allowances list. On August 15, 2022, the SSA added twelve new conditions to the compassionate allowances program.

Compassionate Allowances are a way for SSA to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that meet Social Security’s standards for winning SSD and SSI benefits. These conditions are severe diseases. The are so severe that those with the conditions automatically win benefits. Therefore, the Compassionate Allowances list includes certain cancers, adult brain diseases, and a number of rare conditions that affect children.

Incurable diseases that usually result in early death are on the SSA’s special program list. No one wants to have a disease on this list in order to automatically win benefits. However, for those who do have these conditions, benefits should be paid right away.


The following 12 conditions added to the compassionate allowances list (CAL). Here are the added conditions:

  • Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma
  • Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm
  • Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease
  • Microvillus Inclusion Disease – Child
  • Mowat-Wilson Syndrome
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome with Excess Blasts
  • NUT Carcinoma
  • Pfeiffer Syndrome – Types II and III
  • Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia
  • Posterior Cortical Atrophy
  • Renal Amyloidosis – AL Type
  • Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

In order to automatically win benefits, you will need to provide medical records that confirm you have on one of the above diseases. The evidence you will need are the results of any tests that confirm you have a disease on the list. Additionally, you will need a report or a letter from your treating doctor stating that you cannot work due to your illness. Your claim may be denied without the right medical evidence. If you need to learn more about the medical evidence you need to win benefits, read here.

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Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma (AITL) is a rare and highly aggressive cancer of the lymphatic system. AITL spreads throughout the body by changing T-cell lymphocytes (immune cells that dispose of bacteria and viruses) into malignant cells.

AITL is unique among non-Hodgkin lymphomas for its disabling effect on the immune system. The symptoms that arise from the dysfunctional immune response are often more severe than those caused by the tumor itself. The cause of AITL is poorly understood, although there appears to be a correlation with Epstein-Barr virus infection. Although many patients with AITL will go into remission after the initial course of treatment, most will relapse. Median survival is 2-3 years from initial finding of AITL.


Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) previously known as natural killer (NK) cell leukemia/lymphoma is a rare, aggressive hematologic malignancy that manifests as cutaneous lesions with or without bone marrow involvement and leukemic dissemination.

Common misdiagnoses for BPDCN include non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), leukemia cutis (a nonspecific term used for cutaneous [skin] manifestation of any type of leukemia), melanoma (a type of skin cancer), and lupus (chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs).

The skin is the most normal site of disease. However, BPDCN usually involves you bone marrow. The disease causes a decrease in red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet counts in your bone marrow. The lymph nodes and spleen may also be involved. Additionally, rashes without symptoms can also occur.  The prognosis for the disease is poor due to the high rates of the lymphoma coming back after initial therapy. Likewise, people who have this disease do not survive for very long. The average age at diagnosis is 60 to 70 years.


Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease (GSS) is an extremely rare neurodegenerative brain disorder. It is almost always inherited. However, it  is found in only a few families around the world. The onset of the disease normally occurs between the ages of 35 and 50.

GSS is caused by mutations in the PRNP gene. In people with GSS, mutations in the PRNP gene result in the production of an abnormally shaped  proteins. These abnormal protein builds up in the brain. Next, the clumps of abnormal proteins destroy the nerve cells in your brain. Therefore, the loss of brain cells leads to GSS. GSS is a condition that progresses slowly. It usually lasts from 2 to 10 years. The disease causes severe physical problems and finally death. Unfortunately, the patient with this disease goes into a coma or dies from pneumonia. There is no known cure for GSS. 


Microvillus Inclusion Disease (MVID) is a rare congenital intestinal disorder that usually affects newborns. MVID shows itself in the first hours or days of life, because the baby has chronic watery diarrhea. The diarrhea gets worse with food intake. Therefore, it causes malnutrition and dehydration. Fewer than 100 cases of MVID have been documented.

MVID is caused by a mutation in the Myo5b gene. The gene regulates the lining of the intestines. Because the gene does not function in infants with MVID, the babies intestines cannot absorb nutrients. Therefore, MVID leads to developmental delay, failure to thrive, irreversible damage to the liver and kidneys, and often results in death in infancy. Most children with MVID do not survive past early childhood.


Mowat-Wilson Syndrome (MWS) is a rare genetic disorder that affects several organs and body systems. Primary symptoms of MWS include severe intellectual impairment and microcephaly. It also includes seizures, heart defects, and certain facial features. About half of the cases of MWS also occur along with Hirschsprung Disease. Hirschsprung Disease is a condition in which the intestines fail to properly develop.

The symptoms of MWS  can start at any time from birth through early childhood. Early death is common in those with MWS, but some people survive until they become adults.


Myelodysplastic Syndrome with Excess Blasts (MDS-EB) is a rare form of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). In MDS-EB, the number of very early forms of blood cells increase in the bone marrow and the blood. There is also a low number of at least one type of blood cell. The early forms of cell types in the bone marrow may or may not look abnormal under the microscope. MDS-EB has a high chance of turning into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Other types of severe blood disorders can be found here.

MDS affects males more often than females. The disease occurs in all age groups. However, it is far more common in older adults who are over 60 years of age. According to one estimate, 22 to 45 per 100,000 people over the age of 70 years have MDS. Approximately 20,000 new patients are diagnosed each year in the United States. The survival rate is two years.


NUT Carcinoma, formerly known as NUT Midline Carcinoma, is a rare type of cancer that forms in the respiratory tract and other places along the middle of the body. The cancer can also include the thymus, the area between the lungs, and the pancreas, liver, and bladder.

NUT Carcinoma is a rare and fast growing tumor that occurs in children and young adults. It can arise from many organs, mainly midline organs such as the head, neck, and thorax, and usually has widespread metastases at the time is is found. Most patients have advanced stages of the disease and progress rapidly to death. The average length of survival is 10 months. The 2-year survival rate is 30%.


Pfeiffer Syndrome is a condition where you are a huge fan of Michelle Pfeiffer. Did you read this far? Because if you did, you can probably tell this is just a silly joke. Unfortunately, Pfeiffer syndrome is a rare genetic condition of early childhood in which the bones in the skull fuse too soon.

There are three types of Pfeiffer Syndrome. In Types II and III, fusion of skull bones prevents normal brain growth. This results in severe intellectual and neurological impairment. Pfeiffer Syndrome Type I is milder and usually does not affect brain development or the amount of time you will live. The outlook for children with Pfeiffer Syndrome Types II and III is poor. Even with treatment, early death is common due to breathing problems caused by malformation of the skull.


Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia (PCH) is a group of related conditions that affect the development of the brain. The term “pontocerebellar” refers to the pons and the cerebellum, which are the brain structures that are most affected in the many forms of this disorder. The pons is located at the base of the brain in an area called the brain stem, where it sends signals between the cerebellum and the rest of the brain. The cerebellum, which is located at the back of the brain, normally coordinates movement. The term “hypoplasia” refers to the underdevelopment of these brain regions.

PCH also impairs growth of other parts of the brain, leading to a small head size. This microcephaly is usually not apparent at birth but becomes noticeable as brain growth continues to be slow in infancy and early childhood.

Researchers have described at least ten types of pontocerebellar hypoplasia. All forms of this condition are have the elements of reduced brain development, delayed development overall, and problems with movement. Finally, intellectual disability is another symptoms that is seen in all forms of the condition.


Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) is a rare neurologic disease characterized by impairment of higher visual processing skills and other posterior cortical functions without any evidence of ocular abnormalities, relatively intact memory and language in the early stages. PCA causes atrophy of the posterior part of the cerebral cortex and this disrupts complex visual processing. This rare form of dementia is considered a visual variant or an unusual variant of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). PCA usually affects people at an earlier age than typical cases of Alzheimer’s disease, with initial symptoms often experienced in people in their mid-50s or early 60s.


In Renal Amyloidosis, amyloid deposits damage the kidneys and make it harder for them to filter wastes and break down proteins. When the kidneys become too damaged, they may no longer be able to function well enough to maintain health. Thus, you have kidney failure. Kidney failure can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, bone disease, and anemia.

Amyloidosis that affects the kidneys leads to kidney failure and end stage renal disease. AL-Amyloidosis has very poor outcome with most patients dying in 2-3 years.


Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma is a rare cell type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This condition is a mixed disease with both sarcomatous and epithelial elements. Sarcomatoid cells are recognized by their oval or spindle shape. Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma occurs in multiple organ settings, including the uterus, kidneys, lungs, and peritoneum. It accounts for between 10 and 20 percent of all mesothelioma cancers.

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma forms in separate nodes or lesions and can spread quickly to distant organs. Sarcomatoid carcinomas of the lung have poor prognosis and are aggressive cancers. Small early (stage I) carcinosarcoma can have a cure rate of 50% or more if fully resected. More advanced local cancers or metastatic carcinosarcoma have rapid growth and poor response. With Stage II-IV tumors the survival rate is only 2-3 years. Median survival for Stage IV metastatic carcinosarcoma is less than 1 year.


If you do not have medical evidence to prove one of the above conditions, ask the SSA to send you to an exam with a doctor they hire. When the SSA does not have enough evidence to prove that you deserve to be paid benefits, they may decide to schedule you for a consultative examination with one of their doctors. Make sure that you go to the exam.

If you don’t go, the SSA will automatically deny your case. You don’t want that to happen. Use the exam to tell the doctor what physical conditions are making it impossible for you to do full time work. For example, if you have one of the conditions on SSA’s list or any other disease, bring your medical records to the exam so the doctor can review them. Don’t rely on the SSA to send your prior medical records to the doctor.

When the SSA sends you to one of their doctors, they will send you a written notice in the mail. It will have the name of the doctor, the address you need to go to, and the date and time of the exam. If you cannot attend the exam, you must immediately call the SSA and inform them that you have a conflict. Usually, they will schedule a new  appointment time for you so that you can attend.

Whatever you do, do not miss the exam. They will not give you a new exam if you miss the first one with explanation. If you have no medical records, then this is one of the only ways you are going to be able to prove to the SSA that you deserve benefits. Find out more information here about consultative examinations.


You do not need to try to win SSD benefits on your own. Cannon Disability Law can help file your disability application. Also, we can help you file an appeal after every SSA denial. That way, you can focus on your health and spending time with your family. Our attorneys and staff can:

  • Send you the paperwork you need to become our client
  • Help you file your application for SSD and SSI benefits
  • Inform the SSA that the SSA should automatically pay your benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Rules
  • Request reconsideration if you receive an initial denial from Disability Determination Services
  • Help you confirm your attendance at a Consultative Examination
  • Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
  • Prepare you to be a good witness at your SSA hearing
  • Represent you at your hearing and question the vocational and medical witnesses.
  • Read more about vocational experts here
  • Learn more about medical expert testimony here
  • Request review of an unfavorable decision with the Appeals Council
  • Request review of an Appeals Council denial in Federal Court

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. However, if you have a medical condition that automatically wins SSD benefits, you should not wait to finish your application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back.

Additionally, once you receive a denial from the SSA, you have 60 days to file an appeal. You must meet the time limit set by the SSA. If you do not, then you will have to start the process over again. That means you will lose any benefits you could receive on any prior application.


The monthly SSDI amount is different for everyone. However, the average SSDI monthly payment in 2022 is around $1,358. Some people may receive more than that amount, because they earned more money. About one in 10 people who receive Social Security benefits get more than $2,000 per month. People with spouses and children also receive more money. The SSA also pays SSDI benefits to those with a spouse and children. A person with a spouse and children can expect an average monthly payment of around $2,383 in SSDI benefits.

If your medical condition is so severe that you cannot work, then you should file for SSDI benefits. The amount of money you receive will depend upon the amount of money you have earned during your working years. You can apply for SSD benefit online at the Social Security’s website. Or, you can contact us and we will help you file your application for benefits.

After you win benefits, the SSA may require you to have a payee who handles your monthly benefits. If you need more information about a representative payee and your benefits, read here.


Having a new compassionate allowances claim means the SSA should make a quick decision on your case. However, unless you have end stage renal disease or ALS, the five month waiting period for your benefits to begin does not change. This means, that despite how severe your condition might be, if you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you will still have a five month waiting period before your benefits pay out to you.

Therefore, even though you automatically win benefits, you do not get paid benefits until the “waiting period” is over. It is very unfair. Especially to people who have conditions that will result in early death.

Likewise, you must also still wait for a full 24 months from your alleged onset date to receive Medicare coverage. The 24 month waiting period begins after the five month waiting period. So, in reality, it is a 29 month wait for Medicare benefits to begin. To find out more information about Medicare benefits, read here. If you want the waiting periods to change, contact Congress.


If you or a loved one is suffering from one of the above diseases, you may be wondering whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) will approve your claim for SSD and SSI benefits. If so, call Cannon Disability. We are the only law firm helping SSD and SSI clients in Utah and Nevada with over 30 years of experience. For example, we are rated in the top three SSD lawyers in the state of Utah.

We also help clients in many other states. For example, we have clients in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are also rated in the top three SSD lawyers in the state of Nevada. Find out more about our Nevada legal experience here. We also have clients in Idaho, Colorado, and California.

Over the past few decades, we have won over 100 million dollars in ongoing and past due benefits  for our clients. You can benefit from our experience. We’ll help you get your SSDI benefit and fight for the benefits the SSA owes you under the law. Also, we will help you win under the compassionate allowance rules if they apply to you.

If you want to learn more about Cannon Disability’s lawyers, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers is an amazing advocate. She can help you with your Medicare plan. She has also won thousands of SSD cases. Dianna Cannon has been representing SSD and SSI clients for thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of experience helping people obtain their benefits. We are experts. If you have a disease under the compassionate allowances rules, then you automatically win benefits. You can trust us to help you win your SSD and SSI benefits. Contact us today.

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