Compassionate Allowance

Compassionate Allowance is a program of the Social Security system.  We’ve probably all heard the horror stories about how incredibly long it takes to receive a determination about getting approved for disability.  It can take a long period of time to learn if you are found eligible to receive disability benefits after you apply.  However, the Compassionate Allowance program can fast track this process, if you have one of the cancers (or other conditions) listed as described on the list.  It’s important to know that you must not only have the diagnosis but also meet it as stated on the list.  For example, the ovarian cancer must have distant metastasis or be be inoperable or unresectable (unfortunately, many of us meet this).  The medical conditions listed are severe in nature.  Ovarian cancer was one of the 25 cancers listed in 2008. Effective in August of this year, 165 conditions will be on the list.  I can confirm that the social security representatives really push for the quick time frame.  I had no problem getting mine approved quickly.  I keep copies of all my medical records and took the entire packet to the social security office.  This is not required and social security will request all your records.  However, I have found that things go much quicker when I do this.  I also found the Social Security website very user friendly and the application not very difficult to complete.  I’m primarily mentioning this on my blog because I sometimes hear survivors say that are paying attorneys and credit them with getting the approval quickly.  I often volunteer to help new survivors with filing an application and am glad to be of assistance.  Check out the Compassionate Allowance Program at

This blog also gives some good information

What has your experience with applying for disability been like?



  1. Willamina Sugg

    I applied online and had an answer within a few weeks vs. six months with the Federal Gov’t. Compassionate is a good word for this. People with cancer shouldn’t have to worry about these other issues.


  2. Patsy, this is a great post! I hope you share it on and the list.serv. So many will benefit!


  3. Becky A

    I too applied and was approved rather quickly. I found the online app,ucation very user friendly. If you answer all the questions … Be through and give lots of info on the answers. Have doctors information ready to ente too. Totally do-able.

    Great post Patsy


  4. Vicki

    I was diagnosed with Stage 3a clear cell ovarian cancer. They found cells on my omentum. Will this qualify for the Compassionate Allowance for Social Security? I don’t know if this is technically considered metastasis under social security’s definition.

    Thanks, Vicki


  5. Vicki

    I went to the Social Security office last week and the guy scheduled an office appointment. The guy said, that ovarian cancer had to be stage 4 to qualify under the compassionate allowance. I was wonder if anyone else qualified with Stage 3a or just Stage 3.



    • Hi Vicki, and welcome to cancer emotions! I’m sorry that you were given incorrect information. It’s hard enough dealing with cancer and having to search for the right information should not be hard. I, and many other women, have stage III and other stages and have been approved. Actually, I have never known anyone diagnosed with ovarian cancer that has applied and been denied. The process online is easy, so I suggest you go ahead and apply. Please let us know if we can help with this or anything else and let us know your outcome with social security.


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