Social Security Expands Compassionate Allowance List
In August, Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced five new Compassionate Allowance
conditions: Fibrolamellar Cancer, Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS), Megalencephaly
Capillary Malformation Syndrome (MCAP), Superficial Siderosis of the Central Nervous System, and Tetrasomy
18p. The Compassionate Allowance program quickly identifies medical conditions and serious diseases that
meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.
“For nearly a decade, the Compassionate Allowance list has helped us identify and fast-track cases where individuals
have diseases that are most likely to be approved for disability benefits,” said Acting Commissioner Berryhill.
“Social Security is committed to ensuring Americans with qualifying disabilities quickly receive the benefits
For more information about the program, including a list of all Compassionate Allowances conditions, please
direct your clients to www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.
Social Security’s 10th National Disability Forum
Social Security held its 10th National Disability Forum on August 22, 2018. This forum, “Acquiring and Using
Electronic Medical Records,” focused on best practices associated with the acquisition and use of medical
records, common challenges with those records, and the future of electronic health information.
This was also the first time Social Security used live streaming services, with sign language interpreters
on screen, to broadcast the event. Panelists shared their expertise and recommendations.
The panelists were:
- Kevin Liebkemann, chief counsel, Legal Services of New Jersey;
- Andrew Gettinger, chief clinical officer, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology;
- Mariann Yeager, CEO, The Sequoia Project;
- Dr. William Gray-Roncal, senior research engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory;
- John Mattison, M.D., chief medical information officer and assistant medical director, Kaiser Permanente;
- Brian Jones, D.O., managing director, Guidehouse, LLP; and
- Hans Buitendijk, director, interoperability strategy, Cerner.
You and your clients can read more about the disability forum at www.socialsecurity.gov/ndf/.
You can also learn more about Social Security disability programs at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.
Social Security’s Shield—Strengthening Our Commitment
The Inspector General Act of 1978 ensures integrity and accountability in the Executive Branch. Let your clients
know that Social Security uses a variety of proven techniques to identify suspected fraud, waste, or abuse.
The Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has the following responsibilities:
- Promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of SSA programs.
- Prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse in SSA programs and operations.
- Inform the SSA and Congress about problems and deficiencies and recommend corrective action.
Fraud represents a very small percentage of our overall payments. Even so, we continue to pursue anti-fraud
initiatives, because we believe any level of fraud is unacceptable.
The OIG is an important part of that commitment. The OIG works closely with our frontline employees to identify
fraud, root out offenders, and bring them to justice. Offenses can include (but are not limited to):
- Making false statements on claims;
- Concealing facts or events which affect eligibility for Social Security benefits;
- Misuse of benefits by a representative payee; and
- Buying or selling counterfeit or legitimate Social Security cards.
These types of abuses weaken the system for all of us. If you or your clients suspect fraud, waste, or abuse,
report it to the OIG. You or your clients can make a report online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
You can also call the OIG Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or the TTY number at 1-866-501-2101 if you’re deaf or hard of hearing, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
You and your clients can read more about the OIG at https://oig.ssa.gov.
Social Security is Here When You Need It Most
Disability benefits offer a financial lifeline when people are struck by a serious medical condition that makes
it impossible for them to work and provide for themselves and their family. Benefits are for medical conditions
that are expected to last at least one year or result in death. The Social Security and Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) disability programs are the largest of the federal programs that provide assistance to people
with disabilities. Our friends, family members, and neighbors, including wounded warriors and the chronically
ill, rely on these vital programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured,"
meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
- Supplemental Security Income makes payments to people who have low income and few resources, and who are
age 65 and older, blind, or disabled.
Your clients can learn more about Social Security disability benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability and SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.
Need to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card?
If someone legally changes their name, they need to tell Social Security so we can send an updated card. Changes
to your name cannot be completed online with Social Security.
To change your name on your card, you must show us documents proving your legal name change and identity. You
also must show us a document proving your U.S. citizenship, if it is not already in our records. You must
present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We can’t accept photocopies
or notarized copies. You can find out which documents you must show to change your name at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10513.pdf.
For complete instructions, you and your clients can visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator.