The Compassionate Allowance List (CAL)

The Social Security Administration maintains a Compassionate Allowance List (CAL) as a way to quickly identify medical conditions that will likely qualify for disability benefits, lessening the wait time for a decision.

When Social Security receives a claim that alleges a condition listed on the Compassionate Allowance list, the case is marked as expedited. While a favorable decision is not guaranteed based on the condition being listed on the CAL, it may decrease the wait time a claimant typically faces. If Social Security is not able to make a favorable decision after examining the case under the CAL guidelines, it will then be processed as a non-expedited claim.

The list includes the following conditions:

Acute Leukemia
Adrenal Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Alexander Disease (ALX) - Neonatal and Infantile
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Astrocytoma - Grade III and IV
Bladder Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Bone Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Breast Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Canavan Disease (CD)
Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal (COFS) Syndrome
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) - Blast Phase
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) - Adult
Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor)
Esophageal Cancer
Farber's Disease (FD) - Infantile
Friedreichs Ataxia (FRDA)
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Picks Disease -Type A - Adult
Gallbladder Cancer
Gaucher Disease (GD) - Type 2
Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Tumor)
Head and Neck Cancers - with distant metastasis or inoperable or unresectable
Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
Kidney Cancer - inoperable or unresectable
Krabbe Disease (KD) - Infantile
Large Intestine Cancer - with distant metastasis or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS)
Liver Cancer
Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)
Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) - Late Infantile
Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) - Type A
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) - Type II
Ovarian Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
Pancreatic Cancer
Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Pleural Mesothelioma
Pompe Disease - Infantile
Rett (RTT) Syndrome
Salivary Tumors
Sandhoff Disease
Small Cell Cancer (of the Large Intestine, Ovary, Prostate, or Uterus)

As of March 1, 2010, Social Security has expanded the Compassionate Allowances List to include 38 new medical conditions. The 38 new Compassionate Allowance conditions are:

Alstrom Syndrome
Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
Ataxia Spinocerebellar
Ataxia Telangiectasia
Batten Disease
Bilateral Retinoblastoma
Cri du Chat Syndrome
Degos Disease
Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease
Edwards Syndrome
Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
Fukuyama Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Glutaric Acidemia Type II
Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), Familial Type
Hurler Syndrome, Type IH
Hunter Syndrome, Type II
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa, Lethal Type
Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
Leigh's Disease
Maple Syrup Urine Disease
Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Mixed Dementia
Mucosal Malignant Melanoma
Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy
Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses, Infantile Type
Niemann-Pick Type C
Patau Syndrome
Primary Progressive Aphasia
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Sanfilippo Syndrome
Subacute Sclerosis Panencephalitis
Tay Sachs Disease
Thanatophoric Dysplasia, Type 1
Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Walker Warburg Syndrome
Wolman Disease
Zellweger Syndrome

As of April 11, 2012, Social Security expanded the Compassionate Allowances List to include 52 new medical conditions. The 52 new Compassionate Allowance conditions are:

Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome
Alobar Holoprosencephaly
Alpers Disease
Alpha Mannosidosis
Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site
Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis
Child Neuroblastoma
Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Chondrosarcoma with multimodal therapy
Cornelia de Lange Syndrome-Classic Form
Ewings Sarcoma
Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with metastases
Fucosidosis - Type 1
Galactosialidosis - Early Infantile Type
Glioma Grade III and IV
Hallervorden-Spatz Disease
Hepatoblastoma
Histiocytosis
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
Hydranencephaly
Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis
Hypophosphatasia Perinatal lethal Form
I Cell disease
Infantile Free Sialic Acid Storage Disease
Juvenile Onset Huntington Disease
Kufs Disease Type A and B
Lissencephaly
Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis Grade III
Malignant Brain Stem Gliomas - Childhood
Malignant Melanoma with metastases
Mastocytosis Type IV
Medulloblastoma with metastasis
Merkel Cell Carcinoma with metastases
Myoclonic Epilepsy and Ragged Red Fibers Syndrome
Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
Obliterative Bronchiolitis
Ohtahara Syndrome
Orthochromatic Leukodystrophy with Pigmented Glia
Pearson Syndrome
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Classic Form
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease-Connatal Form
Peripheral Nerve Cancer - metastatic or recurrent
Perry Syndrome
Rhabdomyosarcoma
Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata
Schindler Disease Type 1
Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome
Spinal Nerve Root Cancer- metastatic or recurrent
Stiff Person Syndrome
Tabes Dorsalis
Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome
Xeroderma Pigmentosum