SSA Holds Hearing on Autoimmune Diseases

According to the Social Security Administration, Compassionate Allowances are a government’s way to quickly recognize debilitating conditions and approve claimants for much needed disability benefits. Claimants with a disease on the list of Compassionate Allowances obviously meet disability standards and required a faster approval due to their disease’s quick and devastating effects.

Social Security Administration’s Commissioner Astrue has held seven Compassionate Allowances public outreach hearings. The latest wash held on autoimmune diseases. Over 20 million Americans suffer from autoimmune conditions, which particularly affect women and children, said the Commissioner.

Autoimmune diseases do not necessarily have visible physical disabilities but can be devastating on an individual. These diseases occur from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.

The SSA held a hearing and allowed national experts to present testimony about the possible methods of identifying and implementing Compassionate Allowances for adults and children with autoimmune diseases.

Symptoms of autoimmune disease vary on an individual’s immune system. The most common symptoms include anxiety, depression, blood sugar changes, digestive problems, dizziness, sensitivity to cold in the hands and feet and fatigue. Some autoimmune diseases can have debilitating organ and tissue destruction, increase of organ size, infertility, inflammation, low or high blood pressure, weakness and stiffness of joints.

Last year, the Compassionate Allowances initiative allowed for 100,000 claims to be expedited. This year the Commissioner expect to increase the number of fast-tracked cases to about 150,000. The agency also plans to increase the list of Compassionate Allowance conditions, which would bring the total to 100.

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