Deciding Adult Huntington's Disease Disability Applications Faster

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, has announced the agency will add Huntington's disease for adults to the Compassionate Allowances program by the end of the year. The expedited disability process will identify people with significant symptoms of this devastating neurological disease and award them disability benefits quickly. Adult Huntington's disease will accompany the designation of Juvenile Huntington's disease as a Compassionate Allowance condition, which will be effective in August.

"Woody Guthrie, the composer of 'This Land is Your Land,' among hundreds of other folk classics, suffered and died from Huntington's disease, a progressive and always fatal disease of the brain that affects nearly 30,000 people in the U.S.," said Commissioner Astrue. Guthrie would have been 100 this month, making it a fitting time for this announcement.

For more information about Compassionate Allowances, visit

Congressional Testimony

On July 25, two Social Security executives testified before two different Congressional committees.

Carolyn Colvin, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security, appeared before the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources to discuss the Supplemental Security Income program. She presented what the agency has learned "through 40 years of experience in providing assistance under a complex, means-tested program, and how we have used technology and other innovative approaches to efficiently and effectively make sure that only eligible individuals receive the right amount of benefits at the right time." A full transcript of her testimony is available at

LaTina Burse Greene, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy, testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging about the importance of the Social Security retirement decision, and how it affects women. "When people ask us –'what is the best age to start receiving retirement benefits?'– we tell them there is no 'best age' for everyone and that, ultimately, it is their choice. It is a personal decision that should be based on a number of factors, such as their current cash needs, health, and family longevity," Greene explained. The full transcript of her testimony is available at

You can stay up to date on all of Social Security's Congressional testimony at

Referrals Help OIG Combat Social Security Fraud

Social Security's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for detecting and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse in Social Security's programs and operations. OIG does that, in part, by taking appropriate action on allegations of fraud submitted by you, your clients, and other members of the public.

Of the 103,567 allegations of fraud the agency received in fiscal year 2011, roughly one-third came from Social Security employees, one-third came from public citizens, and the rest came from other government agencies, law enforcement, Congress, and other sources.

To assist the OIG in stopping Social Security fraud, visit While there, please check out the office's new blog as well as how to follow the OIG on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions

If you or your clients have a question about Social Security, you may not be the first one to have asked it. Check our Frequently Asked Questions page at

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