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Social Security Holds Third Disability Hearing on Compassionate Allowances

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008 Mark Lassiter, Press Officer
For Immediate Release 410-965-8904


News Release

Social Security Holds Third Disability Hearing on Compassionate Allowances

Experts Provide Testimony on Traumatic Brain Injuries and Stroke

The Social Security Administration, in conjunction with the United States Department of Defense, held a public hearing on Compassionate Allowances today at Ft. Myer in Arlington, VA.  Senior executives from the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health joined Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, to hear testimony from some of the nation’s leading experts on traumatic brain injury, the signature injury of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and stroke.

“Compassionate Allowances, which we launched last month with an initial list of 50 conditions, allows us to make disability decisions on certain categories of cases in a matter of days, rather than months or years,” said Commissioner Astrue.   “Today’s hearing gives us additional insight into how we might better recognize and fast-track the disability applications of veterans and others dealing with the effects of traumatic brain injuries and strokes.”

Compassionate Allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under Social Security’s disability standards based on minimal objective medical information.  Today’s hearing is the third of four public hearings Social Security plans to hold.  Previous hearings dealt with cancers and rare diseases and resulted in the nationwide launch of the Compassionate Allowances initiative in October 2008.  See the press release at:

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