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Is the Social Security Administration Counting on the Deaths of Terminally Ill Applicants?

The Social Security Administration developed a program called Compassionate Allowance to expedite the cases of disability applicants diagnosed with one of 225 illnesses.  However, there is a mandatory waiting period to receive disability benefits of at least six months.  Too many of the applicants whose illnesses qualify for Compassionate Allowance do not live long enough to receive any benefits.

As a result of the mandatory waiting periods, qualified applicants continue to suffer financially and risk poverty and homelessness while they wait to receive disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration states that 68,827 people were approved for Compassionate Allowance in fiscal year 2016 but could not verify the average wait time for applicants who lived long enough to receive benefits.  All applicants who qualified were required to wait at least six months or longer before receiving any payments.

Rodney Davis, a congressman from Illinois has introduced federal legislation to remove the mandatory waiting period, and it appears to have bipartisan support in the House.  If approved, the law would take effect in 2018.