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Waiting period puts dying SSDI recipients on hold

The good news for some residents in the Louisville area, no matter which side of the Ohio River you live on, is that certain types of disabilities qualify for a relatively quick approval process under the Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowance program.

This program in theory benefits terminally ill patients, including cancer patients without a long time to live, by allowing them to draw Social Security Disability without having to go through the lengthy approval process that has gotten notoriously cumbersome over the last several years. Unfortunately, though, federal regulations still require recipients of benefits under this program to wait several months before their first monthly payment arrives.

In some cases, a disabled patient does not live to see his or her first paycheck. In other cases, a patient which the Social Security Administration acknowledges is disabled has to wait in limbo for several months, all the while having to figure out how to manage their budget since they are not able to work yet cannot get disability payments, even though they have paid in to the system.

There is a proposal making its way through Congress now that would eliminate this waiting period for those who qualify for the Compassionate Allowance program. For the almost 70,000 people who qualify for benefits under this program, this measure would likely be a welcome relief were it to pass. In the mean time, those terminally ill residents of New Albany and Louisville who qualify for Compassionate Allowance may have to wait patiently for their checks, hoping that they will live to see their first payment.

Source: CBS Chicago, "2 investigators: disability system waits out terminally ill applicants," David Savini, March 9, 2017

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