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ALS Disability Insurance Access Act passed

February 2, 2021

By Shelley W. Elovitz

The new Act eliminates the five month wait period for benefits for those suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease

In December 2020, Congress passed and the President signed the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, destroys motor neurons and is usually fatal within two to five years. The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act eliminates the five month waiting period to begin receiving benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. That also means more immediate access to Medicare for those applicants.

Because ALS is a disease that progresses rapidly, the new Act saves precious time. Many disability advocates hope that this is a new development with the potential for more life threatening conditions to come under consideration. The Social Security Administration has identified 242 conditions that meet Compassionate Allowances standards. Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits and can reduce waiting time for applicants, but the five month waiting period to begin benefits remains in place for them and Medicare may not be immediately available.

If you have questions about eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance, contact us online or call (412) 338-1183.

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