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National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) Commends SSA's New 'Compassionate Allowances Process'
Date:10/28/2008

NPAF Joins Efforts to Accelerate Disability Determinations

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) commends the Social Security Administration's new "Compassionate Allowances Process" for disability determinations, which will accelerate the processing of disability claims. Before announcing this proposal, Social Security held public hearings in the summer of 2008 to receive information from experts. NPAF, in collaboration with professional case managers and staff at the Patient Advocate Foundation, provided testimony and recommendations to SSA's panel.

Yesterday, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced the national rollout of the agency's program and stated that "getting benefits quickly to people with the most severe medical conditions is both the right and the compassionate thing to do." With this new program, rather than waiting for months, decisions will be made over the course of a few days. The "Compassionate Allowances Process" initiative will apply to 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers and could be expanded later. Some of these conditions include acute leukemia, bladder cancer, bone cancer, ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor), kidney cancer (inoperable or unresectable), liver cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma, and stomach cancer, among others.

"This is a major accomplishment for patients suffering with chronic, debilitating, and life-threatening illnesses. For the 130 million Americans living with a chronic medical condition, having accelerated disability determinations can make a difference in their lives," said Davenport-Ennis. "With the 'Compassionate Allowances Process' in place, patients will be able to receive more immediate, reliable care and benefits. We are thankful to the Social Security Administration and Commissioner Astrue for recognizing the need to improve the determinations process"

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SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation
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