Social Security to Add Adult Huntington’s Disease to Compassionate Allowances Program

The Social Security Administration will add symptomatic Huntington’s Disease to its Compassionate Allowances program for adults by the end of the year. The expedited disability process will identify people with significant symptoms of this devastating neurological disease. Adult Huntington’s Disease will accompany the designation of Juvenile Huntington’s Disease as a Compassionate Allowance condition, which will be effective next month.

“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 Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security. “Tomorrow, July 14, would be his 100th birthday and thus it is a fitting time for this announcement.”

Compassionate Allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the statutory standard for disability. The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.

For more information on the Compassionate Allowances initiative, please visit