Multiple System Atrophy Awareness

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Multiple System Atrophy added to the list of Compassionate Allowance Conditions

The National Ataxia Foundation is pleased to announce that the Social Security Administration has announced the addition of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) to the list of Compassionate Allowance Conditions beginning in December 2011.
Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced on Thursday, October 13th that 13 new Compassionate Allowances conditions have been added including Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).  “Social Security handles more than three million disability applications each year and we need to keep innovating and making our work more efficient,” Commissioner Astrue stated.  “With our Compassionate Allowances program, we quickly approved disability benefits for more than 60,000 people with severe disabilities in the past fiscal year. We have made significant improvements, but we can always do more.”
Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to quickly target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly.
Social Security launched the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008 with a list of 50 diseases and conditions.  The announcement of 13 new conditions, effective in December, will increase the total number of Compassionate Allowances conditions to 113.  Currently, the Compassionate Allowance Conditions include Friedreich’s ataxia, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – Types 0 and 1, Spinocerebellar Ataxia, and Ataxia Telangiectasia. Beginning in December 2011 there will be an additional 13 new Compassionate Allowance Conditions being recognized by the Social Security Administration including Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).
To find out more about the Compassionate Allowance Conditions, please visit the Social Security web site at
The National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) is a membership supported non-profit organization established in 1957 and is dedicated in serving ataxia families through support, education, and research.  To find out more about ataxia and NAF, please visit our web site at  Thank you.


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